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S. 6. and E. L. ELBERT 





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Prreruiri bit ELLA SMITH ELBERT f 88 







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" Joy to thy savage realms, Africa ! 

A sign is on thee that the great I AM 

Shall work new wonders in the land of Hani ; 

And while he tarries for the glorious day 

To bring again his people, there shall be 
A remnant left from Cushan to the sea. 

And though the Ethiop cannot change his skin, 
Or bleach the outward stain, he yet shall roll 
The darkness off that overshades the soul, 

And wash away the deeper dyes of sin. 

Princes, submissive to the Gospel sway, 

Shall come from Egypt ; and the Morion's land 

In holy transport stretch to God its hand : 
Joy to thy savage realms, Africa ! " 

— Rev. William Croswell, D. D. 


48 & 50 Greene Street, 
New Tork. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 

District of New Tork. 


Most of the papers contained in this volume were 
addressed to public assemblies in the Republic of Li- 
beria, and, at their request, a few of them have al- 
ready appeared in print. The remaining articles, now 
for the first time published, relate, in an equal degree, 
to the interests of Africa and the negro race. They 
were prepared, on their several occasions, under a 
keen sense of responsibility, in the new field of duty 
on the coast of Africa, whither God has called several 
thousands of the sons of Africa from their former 
American homes. They are now published with the 
humble but sober conviction, that the trains of 
thought they present are worthy the attention and 
consideration of the people to whom they were ad- 
dressed ; if, perchance, they should prove undeserving 
the notice of others. 

The Author, however, feels that they are some- 
what fitted to two important ends; namely, first, to 
show that the children of Africa have been called, in 


the Divine providence, to meet the demands of civili- 
zation, of commerce, and of nationality ; and, second^ 
that they are beginning, at last, to grapple with the 
problems which pertain to responsible manhood, to 
the great work of civilization, to the duties and re- 
quirements of national life, and to the solemn respon- 
sibility of establishing the Christian faith amid the 
rude forms of paganism. 

The Author cannot let this volume go forth to the 
public without tendering his best thanks, to very 
many friends, both clerical and lay, who, during his 
sojourn in this country, have either aided him in his 
collections for the " Liberia College," or have inter- 
ested themselves in the publication of this volume, or 
have bestowed upon him personal attention and 

He trusts he may be excused for mentioning, in 
this public manner, his deep acknowledgments to the 
Kt. Rev. Bishops Eastburn, and Potter, of Pennsylva- 
nia ; to John P. Crozer, Esq., of Philadelphia : to 
Wm. B. Dodge, Esq., of New York ; and to ¥m. 

Coppinger, Esq., of Philadelphia ; and especially to 


those two gentlemen who have favored him with 
great kindness, through many years, in Africa as well 
as America — Benjamin Coates, Esq., of Philadelphia, 
and the Eev. S. H. Tyng, D.D., of New York. 



I. TnE English Language in Liberia, .... 9 

II. The Duty of a Rising Christian State to contribute 

to TnE World's Well-being and Civilization, . 67 

111. The Progress of Civilization along the West Coast 

of Africa, 105 

IY. The Progress and Prospects of the Republic of Li- 
beria, 133 

V. God and the Nation, 151 

VI. The Fitness of the Gospel for its own Work, . .175 

VII. Address on Laying the Corner-stone of St. Mark's 

Hospital, Cape Palmas, 195 

VIII. The Relations and Dcty of Free Colored Men in 

America to Africa, 215 

IX. Hope for Africa, 285 

X. The Negro Race Not under a Curse, . . . 327 



Delivered before the citizens of Maryland County, Cape P almas, Liberia, 
July 26, 1860, being the day of National Independence. Also in the 
Hall of Representatives, Monrovia, February, 1861. 

"Language, in connection with reason, to which it gives its proper 
activity, use, and ornament, raises man above the lower orders of ani- 
mals, and in proportion as it is polished and refined, contributes greatly, 
with other causes, to exalt one nation above another, in the scale of 
civilization and intellectual dignity." — Anon. 

" Our language is a part, and a most important part, of our country. 
* * * * Nobody who is aware how a nation's feelings and opinions, and 
whatever characterizes it, are interwoven with its language by myriads 
of imperceptible fibres, will run the risk of severing them. Nobody who 
has a due reverence for * * * * his own spiritual being, which has been 
mainly trained and fashioned by his native language — nobody who rightly 
appreciates what a momentous thing it is to keep the unity of a people 
entire and unbroken, to preserve and foster all its national recollections, 
what a glorious and inestimable blessing it is to ' speak the tongue that 
Shakspeare spake,' will ever wish to trim that tongue according to any 
arbitrary theory." — Rev. J. C. Hare. 

"So may we hope to be ourselves guardians of its purity, and not 
corrupters of it ; to introduce, it may be, others into an intelligent 
knowledge of that with which we shall have ourselves more than a 
merely superficial acquaintance — to bequeath it to those who come after 
us not worse than we received it ourselves." — Dean Trench. 


Two years ago to-day, when we were assembled 
together here, as now, to celebrate our National An- 
niversary, I was called up, after the orator of the day, 
to make a few remarks. And perhaps some, who are 
here, may remember that, in setting forth a few of the 
advantages we pilgrims to these shores possess, for a 
noble national growth and for future superiority ; I 
pointed out among other providential events the fact, 
that the exile of our fathers from their African homes 
to America, had given us, their children, at least this 
one item of compensation, namely, the possession of 
the Anglo-Saxon tongue ; that this language put us 
in a position which none other on the globe could 
give us ; and that it was impossible to estimate too 
highly, the prerogatives and the elevation the Al- 
mighty has bestowed upon us, in our having as our 
own, the speech of Chaucer and Shakspeare, of Mil- 
ton and Wordsworth, of Bacon and Burke, of Frank- 
lin and Webster. My remarks were unpremeditated, 


and they passed from my thoughts as the meeting 
was dismissed, and we went forth to the festivities of 
the day. But it happened that, shortly afterwards, I 
had occasion to seek health by a journey up the Ca- 
valla. There, on the banks of that noble river, fully 
80 miles from the ocean, I met with hospitality from 
a native trader, a man who presented all the signs of 
civilization, and who spoke with remarkable clearness 
and precision, the English language. The incident 
struck me with surprise, and started a crowd of 
thoughts and suggestions concerning the future ; 
among these came back the lost and forgotten words 
of our Anniversary of 1858. More than once since, 
in conversations, speeches, and sermons, have I ex- 
pressed the ripened convictions which that occurrence 
created in my mind ; and the other day, after I re- 
ceived the invitation to speak before you on this oc- 
casion, I concluded to take this for the subject of 
remark : " The English Language in Liberia." 

I shall have to ask your patience this day; for, 
owing to that fatality of tardiness which seems to 
govern some of our public movements, I have had 
but a fortnight to prepare for this duty, and hence I 
cannot be as brief as is desirable. I shall have to 
ask your attention also, for I can promise you nothing 
more than a dry detail of facts. 

I trust, however, that I may be able to suggest a 
few thoughts which may be fitted to illustrate the re- 
sponsibilities of our lot in this land, and to show forth 
the nature and the seriousness of the duties which 
arise out of it. 

1. Now, in considering this subject, what first 


arrests .attention, is the bare simple fact that here, on 
this coast, that is, between Gallinas and Cape Pedro, 
is an organized negro community, republican in form 
and name ; a people possessed of Christian institu- 
tions and civilized habits, with this one marked pe- 
culiarity, that is, that in color, race, and origin, they 
are identical with the masses of rude natives around 
them ; and yet speak the refined and cultivated Eng- 
lish language — a language alien alike from the speech 
of their sires and the soil from whence they sprung, 
and knowing no other. It is hardly possible for us 
fully to realize these facts. Familiarity with scenes, 
events, and even truths, tends to lessen the vivid: 
of their impression. But without doubt no thoughtful 
traveller could contemplate the sight, humble as at 
present it really is, without marvel and surprise. If 
a stranger who had never heard of this Republic, but 
who had sailed forth from his country to visit the 
homes of West African Pagans, should arrive on our 
coast ; he could not but be struck with the Anglican 
aspect of our habits and manners, and the distinct:, 
with indeed undoubted mistakes and blunders, of our 
English names and utterance. There could be no 
baking the history of this people. The earliest 
contact with them vouches English antecedents and 
associations. The harbor master who comes on board 
is perhaps a Watts or a Lynch ; names which have 
neither a French, a Spanish, nor a German origin. 
lie steps up into the town, asks the names of store- 
keepers, learns who are the merchants and officials, 
calls on the President, or Superintendent, or Jin! 
and althoi ide are all the faces he meets with, 


the names are the old familiar ones which he has 
been accustomed to in the social circles of his home, 
or on the signs along the streets of New York or 
London, viz. : the Smiths, (a large family in Liberia 
as everywhere else in Anglo-Saxondom,) and their 
broods of cousins, the Johnsons, Thompsons, Robin- 
sons, and Jacksons ; then the Browns, the Greens, 
the [paradoxical] Whites, and the [real] Blacks ; the 
Williamses, Jameses, Paynes, Draytons, Gibsons, 
Roberts, Yates, "Warners, Wilsons, Moores, and that 
of his Excellency, President Benton. 

Not only names, but titles also are equally sig- 
nificant, and show a like origin. The streets are 
Broad, and Ashmun, and as here, Griswold. The 
public buildings are a Church, a Seminary, a Senate, 
and a Court House. 

If our visitor enters the residence of a thriving, 
thoughtful citizen, the same peculiarity strikes him. 
Every thing, however humble, is of the same Anglo- 
Saxon type and stamp. On the book-shelves or 
tables, are Bibles, Prayer or Hymn Books, Hervey's 
Meditations or Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Young's 
Night Thoughts or Cowper's Poems, Walter Scott's 
Tales, or Uncle Tom's Cabin. In many places he will 
find well-used copies of Shakspeare and Milton. Not 
a few have enriched themselves with the works of 
Spenser and Wordsworth, Coleridge and Campbell, 
Longfellow and Bryant, Whittier and Willis, and of 
that loftiest of all the bards of the day, Alfred Ten- 
xysox. Should it happen to be a mail-day, or the 
" Stevens " has just glided into our waters, he would 
find at the Post Office, papers from America and En- 


gland: "The Times," "Illustrated London ISTews," 
" Daily Advertiser," " The Star," " The Guardian," 
" The New York Tribune," and " Commercial Adver- 
tiser," the " Protestant Churchman," and the " Church 
Journal." In one heap, " Littell's Living Age ; " in 
another, " Chambers' Journal." Here, " Harper's 
Monthly ; " there, " The Eclectic." Amid the mass 
of printed matter he would see, ever and anon, 
more ambitious works : Medical and Scientific Jour- 
nals, Quarterly Reviews, the " Bibliothceca Sacra," 
" Blackwood " and other magazines. 

Such facts as these, however, do not fully repre- 
sent the power of the English tongue in our territory. 
For, while we repress all tendencies to childish vanity 
and idle exaggeration, we are to consider other telling 
facts which spring from our character and influence, 
and which are necessary to a just estimate of the pe- 
culiar agency we are now contemplating. And here 
a number of facts present themselves to our notice. 
Within a period of thirty years, thousands of heathen 
children have been placed under the guardianship of 
our settlers. Many of these have forgotten their na- 
tive tongue, and know now the English language as 
their language. As a consequence, there has sprung 
up, in one generation, within our borders, a mighty 
army of English-speaking natives, who, as manhood 
approached, have settled around us in their homes 
from one end of the land to the other. Many of these 
take up the dialects of the other tribes in whose neigh- 
borhood their masters lived, but even then English 
La their speech. Thus it is that everywhere in the 
Republic, from Gallinas to Cape Palmas, one meets 


with. a multitude of natives who have been servants 
in our Liberian families, and are daily in the utter- 
ance of English. A considerable number of these 
have enjoyed the opportunity of school instruction, 
and have carried back to the country the ability to 
read and to write English. In many cases, it is, in 
truth impossible to say whether their attainments 
should be suggestive of sorrow or of joy. I have had 
naked boys working for me on the St. Paul, who, 
when they wanted any thing, would write a note with 
as much exactness as I could. We all here know one 
native man, over the river, who is a leader in Devil- 
dances, and yet can read and write like a scholar. A 
friend of mine, travelling in the bush, nigh 200 miles 
from Monrovia, stopped one night, exhausted, at the 
hut of a native man, who brought him his own Bible 
to read, but alas ! it was accompanied by a decanter 
of rum ! The moral of such facts I shall not enter 
upon ; but here is the simple fact, that by our pres- 
ence, though in small numbers, we have already 
spread abroad, for scores of miles, the English lan- 
guage, written as well as spoken, among this large 
population of heathen. 

The trading schemes of merchants and settlers, is 
another powerful auxiliary, in disseminating this lan- 

At every important point on the coast, Liberian, 
English, and American merchants have, for years, 
established their factories. Between Cape Palmas 
and Monrovia, there cannot be less than 30 factories. 
In each of these depots, some three or four English- 
speaking persons — Liberians — are living ; in a few 


cases families have made them their permanent 
abodes ; and thus, what with their native servants, 
the natives in neighboring towns, the more remote 
natives who flock hitherward for trade, and the few 
happy cases where pious young men devote a portion 
of their time to teaching ; there is, and has been, a 
powerful, a wide-spread system in operation for the 
teaching and extension of English. 

Another process has been for some time at work 
to spread our language. The interior natives have 
found out that a home in our vicinity is equivalent to 
an act of emancipation ; and, as a consequence, rem- 
nants of tribes who for centuries have been the prey 
of their stronger neighbors, for the slave trade ; and 
boys and men, upwards of 100 miles inland, who have 
been held in slavery ; crowd in upon our neighbor- 
hood for freedom. Behind our settlements, on the 
St. Paul, there is the most heterogeneous mixture 
conceivable, of divers tribes and families, who have 
thus sought the protection of our commonwealth. 
Xumbers of the Bassas, Veys, Deys, Golahs and espe- 
cially the Pessas, the hereditary slaves of the interior, 
have thus come to our immediate neighborhoods. 
Although I am doubtful of the moral effect of this 
movement upon ourselves, yet I feel no little pride in 
the fact that this young nation should become, so 
early, a land of refuge, an asylum for the oppressed ! 
And I regard it as a singular providence, that at the 
very time our government was trumpeted abroad as 
implicated in the slave trade, our magistrates, in 
the upper counties, were adjudicating cases of run- 
away slaves, and declaring to interior slaveholders 


that, on our soil, they could not reclaim their fugi- 
tives ! 

Just here another important item claims attention, 
that is the Missionary agency in propagating this 
language. The reference here Trill be, chiefly, to the 
two uppermost counties of Liberia. Their younger 
sister, Sinou, I am sorry to say, has not, as yet, 
made any marked impression upon her surrounding 
heathen ; more we believe through youth, and weak- 
ness, and suffering, than through indifference or neg- 
lect. Missionary operations, though participated in 
by others, have been chiefly carried on, in Bassa, by 
the Baptists. The means which have been employed 
have been preaching and schools. On the St. John's 
they have had for years a Manual Labor School, in- 
structed by white Missionaries. This school has 
passed into the hands of a native Teacher, educated 
at Sierra Leone — a man who is the son of a promi- 
nent chieftain, and who possesses unbounded influ- 
ence, as far as the Bassa tongue reaches. He has, 
moreover, these three prominent qualities ; that is, he 
is a well-trained English scholar, a thoroughly civil- 
ized man, and a decided and well-tried disciple of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. His earnestness is evidenced in 
the fact that his work is unaided and self-supporting, 
and numbers of his tribe are glad to send him their 
children. Besides this means of influence, ministers 
have been accustomed to visit numerous towns and 
villages, preaching the Gospel. And thus, by preach- 
ing and schools a multitude of the Bassas have gained 
the English tongue, with many of its ideas and 


The same Anglicizing influence has been carried 
on, but on a larger scale, in Hontserrada County, but 
mainly through the Methodists ; and they have spread 
our language widely abroad through that county, 
by the means of native schools, native children in 
their American schools, and missionaries residing in 
country towns, teaching and preaching as far back as 
the Golah tribe, and now among the Yeys : native 
preachers, too, men converted to the faith, and moved 
by the Spirit to proclaim the glad tidings to their 
needy parents, brothers, and kin. I must not fail to 
mention the fact, that, during the last two years, one 
of their ministers has carried the English tongue some 
200 miles in the interior," and has spread it abroad 
amid the homes of the mild Pessas ; thus preparing 
the way for legitimate trade, for civilization, for the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the means of the spoken 
Word and the English Bible. 

Thus, fellow-citizens, by these varied means the 
English language has been pushing its way among 
the numerous tribes of our territory. And thus, in a 
region of not less than 50,000 square miles, there are 
few places but where an English-speaking traveller 
can find some person who can talk with him in his 
own language. 

And now I beg you to notice one point : this 
English, which we are speaking, and teaching the 
heathen to speak, is not our native tongue. This 
Anglo-Saxon language, which is the only language 
ninety-nine hundredths of us emigrants have ever 

* The lamented Rev. George L. Seymour, Missionary and Traveller. 


known, is not the speech of our ancestors. We are 
here a motley group, composed, without doubt, of 
persons of almost every tribe in "West Africa, from 
Goree to the Congo. Here are descendants of Jalofs, 
Eulahs, Mandingoes, Sussus, Timmanees, Veys, Con- 
gos ; with a large intermixture, everywhere, of Anglo- 
Saxon, Dutch, Irish, French, and Spanish blood — a 
slight mingling of the Malayan, and a dash, every now 
and then, of American Indian. And, perhaps, I 
would not exaggerate much, if I ended the enumera- 
tion of our heterogeneous elements in the words of 
St. Luke — " Jews and Proselytes, Cretes and Arab- 

And yet they all speak in a foreign tongue, in 
accents alien from the utterance of their fathers. Our 
very speech is indicative of sorrowful history ; the 
language we use tells of subjection and of conquest. 
No people lose entirely their native tongue without 
the bitter trial of hopeless struggles, bloody strife, 
heart-breaking despair, agony, and death ! Even so 
we. But this, be it remembered, is a common inci- 
dent in history, pertaining to almost every nation on 
earth. Examine all the old histories of men — the 
histories of Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, and Eng- 
land ; and in every case, as in ours, their language 
reveals the fact of conquest and subjection. But this 
fact of humiliation seems to have been one of those 
ordinances of Providence, designed as a means for the 
introduction of new ideas into the language of a peo- 
ple ; or to serve, as the transitional step from low 
degradation to a higher and nobler civilization. 

2. And this remark suggests, in the second place, 


the query : — Ci What is the nature, and if any, the ad- 
vantage of the exchange, we have thus, in God's prov- 
idence, been led to make ? " 

The only way in which, in a fit manner, I can an- 
swer this question is, by inquiring into the respective 
values of our native and our acquired tongue. Such 
a contrast will set before us the problem of " Loss and 
Gain " which is involved therein. The worth of our 
fathers' language will, in this way, stand out in dis- 
tinct comparison with the Anglo-Saxon, our acquired 
speech. And first, let us speak of the African dia- 
lects. I refer now to that particular group of aborig- 
ines who dwell in "West Africa, from the Senegal to 
the Niger, and who have received the distinctive title 
of " Negro." 

"Within this wide extent of territory are grouped 
a multitude of tribes and natives with various tongues 
and dialects, which, doubtless, had a common origin, 
but whose point of affiliation it would be difficult now 
to discover. But how great soever may be their dif- 
ferences, there are, nevertheless, definite marks of in- 
feriority connected with them all, which place them 
at the widest distance from civilized languages. Of 
this whole class of languages, it may be said, in the 
aggregate that (a) " They are," to use the words of 
Dr. Leighton Wilson, " harsh, abrupt, energetic, indis- 
tinct in enunciation, meagre in point of words, abound 
with inarticulate nasal and guttural sounds, possess 
but few inflections and grammatical forms, and are 
withal exceedingly difficult of acquisition." :: * This is 

• "Western Africa," &c. 4DG, by Rev. J. L. Wilson, D.D. 


his description of the Grebo ; but it may be taken, I 
think, as, on the whole, a correct description of the 
whole class of dialects which are entitled " Negro." 
(b) These languages, moreover, are characterized by 
lowness of ideas. As the speech of rude barbarians, 
they are marked by brutal and vindictive sentiments, 
and those principles which show a predominance of 
the animal propensities, (c) Again, they lack those 
ideas of virtue, of moral truth, and those distinctions 
of right and wrong with which we, all our life long, 
have been familiar, (d) Another marked feature of 
these languages is the absence of clear ideas of Jus- 
tice, Law, Human Rights, and Governmental Order, 
which are so prominent and manifest in civilized 
-countries. And (e) lastly — Those supernal truths of 
a personal, present Deity, of the moral Government 
of God, of man's Immortality, of the Judgment, and 
of Everlasting Blessedness, which regulate the lives 
of Christians, are either entirely absent, or else exist, 
and are expressed in an obscure and distorted manner. 
Now, instead of a language characterized by such 
rude and inferior features as these, we have been 
brought to the heritage of the English language. 
Negro as we are by blood and constitution, we have 
been, as a people, for generations in the habitual ut- 
terance of Anglo-Saxon speech. This fact is now his- 
torical. The space of time it covers runs over 200 
years. There are emigrants in this country from the 
Carolinas and Georgia, who, in some cases, come 
closer to the Fatherland ; but more than a moiety of 
the people of this country have come from Maryland 
and "Virginia, and I have no doubt that there are 


scores, not to say hundreds of them, who are un- 
able to trace back their sires to Africa. I know that 
in my own case, my maternal ancestors have trod 
American soil, and therefore have used the English 
language wellnigh as long as any descendants of the 
early settlers of the Empire State.* And, doubtless, 
this is true of multitudes of the sons of Africa, who 
are settled abroad in the divers homes of the white 
man, on the American continent. 

At the present day, be it remembered, there are 
10,000,000 of the sons of Africa alien from this con- 
tinent. They live on the main land, and on the islands 
of North and South America. Most of them are sub- 
jects of European and American Governments. One 
growing prominent section of them is an independent 
Republic. f They speak Danish, Portuguese, Span- 
Mi, French, and English; the English-speaking por- 
tion of them, however, is about equal to all the rest 
together. The sons of Africa under the Americans, 
added to those protected by the British flag, number 

Now what is the peculiar advantage which Anglo- 
Africans have gamed by the loss of their mother 
tongue ? In order to answer this query, we must 
present those direct and collateral lingual elements in 

* New York. \ Ilayti. 

\ In the X. Y. Tribune of the 10th January I find the following esti- 
mate: — Negroes on this Continent. — It is estimated that there are some 
1 1,000,000 persons of African descent on this continent. In the United 
States, they number 4,500,000; Brazil, 4,150,000; Cuba, 1,500,000; 
South and Central American Republics, 1,200,000; Ilayti, 2,000,000; 
British Poaseeeionfl, 800,000; French, 250,000; Dutch, Danish, and 
Mexican, 200,000. 


which reside the worth and value of the English lan- 
guage, especially in contrast with the defective ele- 
ments of the African dialects. 

I shall not of course venture, to any extent, upon 
the etymological peculiarities of the English language ; 
for even if I had time, I lack the learning and ability 
for such disquisition. Moreover the thoughts pre- 
sented on such a day as this, should have a force and 
significance pertaining to national growth and a 
people's improvement. I shall therefore point out 
some of those peculiarities of the English language 
which seem to me specially. deserving notice, in this 
country, and which call for the peculiar attention of 
thoughtful patriotic minds among us. 

The English language then, I apprehend, is marked 
by these prominent peculiarities : — (a) It is a lan- 
guage of unusual force and power. This, I know, is 
an elemental excellence which does not pertain, im- 
mediately, to this clay's discussion ; but I venture to 
present it, inasmuch as you will see presently, it has 
much to do with the genius and spirit of a language. 
The English is composed chiefly of simple, terse, and 
forcible, one and two-syllabled words ; which make 
it incomparable for simplicity and intelligibleness. 
The bulk of these words are the rich remains of the 
old Saxon tongue, which is the main stream, whence 
has flowed over to us the affluence of the English lan- 
guage. It is this element which gives it force, pre- 
cision, directness, and boldness ; making it a fit chan- 
nel for the decided thoughts of men of common sense, 
of honest minds, and downright character. Let any 
one take up the Bible, the Prayer-Book, a volume of 


Hymns of any class of Christians, the common prov- 
. the popular sayings, — which strike deep into the 
hearts of men and How over in their common spon- 
taneous utterances ; and he will see everywhere these 
features of force, perspicuity, and direct: . Nor is 
it wanting in beauty, elegance, and majesty ; for, to 
a considerable extent, this same Saxon element fur- 
nishes these qualities ; hut the English, being a com- 
posite language, these attractive and commanding ele- 
ments are bestowed upon it, in fulness, by those 
other affluent streams which contribute to its wealth, 
and which go to make up its " well of English unde- 
nted." (b) Again, the English language ischam 

illy the language of freedom. I know that there 
in which this love of liberty is inwrought in 
the very fibre and substance of the body and blood 
of all people ; but the flame burns dimly in some 
races ; it is a fitful fire in some others ; and in many 
inferior people it is the flickering light of a dying 
candle. But in the English races it is an ardent, 
healthy, vital, irrepressible flame ; and withal normal 
and orderly in its development. Go back to the early 
periods of this people's history, to the times when the 
whole of Europe seemed lost in the night of ignorance, 
and dead to the faintest pulses of liberty ; — trace the 
stream of their descent from the days of Alfred to the 
present time, and mark how they have ever, in law, 
ion and religion, in poetry and oratory, in phi- 
losophy and literature, assumed that oppression was 
an abnormal and a monstrous thing! How, when 
borne down by tyrannous restraint, or lawless, arbitrary 
rule, discontent and resistance hav< 


" Moved in the chambers of their soul." 

How, when misrule became organic, and seated ty- 
ranny unreasoning and obstinate, they have demon- 
strated to all the world, how trifling a thing is the 
tenure of tyrants, how resistless and invincible is the 
free spirit of a nation ! 

And now look at this people — scattered, in our 
own day, all over the globe, in the Great Eepublic, 
in numerous settlements, and great colonies, them- 
selves the germs of mighty empires ; see how they 
have carried with them everywhere, on earth, the 
same high, masterful, majestic spirit of freedom, which 
gave their ancestors, for long generations, in their 
island home — 

— " the thews of Anakim, 
The pulses of a Titan's heart ;" 

and which makes them giants among whatever people 
they settle, whether in America, India, or Africa, dis- 
tancing all other rivalries and competitors. 

And notice here how this spirit, like the freshets 
of some mighty Oregon, rises above and flows over 
their own crude and distorted obliquities. Some of 
these obliquities are prominent. Of all races of men, 
none, I ween, are so domineering, none have a stronger, 
more exclusive spirit of caste, none have a more con- 
temptuous dislike of inferiority ; and yet in this race 
the ancient spirit of freedom rises higher than their 
repugnances. It impels them to conquer even their 
prejudices : and hence, when chastened and subdued 
by Christianity, it makes them philanthropic and 
brotherly. Thus it is that in England this national 
sentiment would not tolerate the existence of slavery, 


although it was Negro slavery. Thus in New Zea- 
land and at the Cape of Good Hope, Statesmen, Pre- 
lates, Scholars, demand that a low and miserable 
aboriginal population shall be raised to their own 
level ; and accept, without agonies and convulsions, 
the providence and destiny, which point plainly to 
amalgamation.'"' Thus in Canada it bursts forth with 
zeal and energy for the preservation and enlighten- 
ment of the decaying Indian. And thus in the United 
States, rising above the mastery of a cherished and 
deep-rooted spirit of caste ; outrunning the calcula- 
tions of cold prudence and prospective result ; repress- 
ing the inwrought personal feeling of prejudice, it 
starts into being a mighty religious feeling which de- 
mands the destruction of slavery and the emancipa- 
tion of the Negro ! (c) Once more I remark, that the 
English language is the enshrincment of those great 
charters of 'liberty -which are essential elements of free 
governments, and the main guarantees of personal 
liberty. I refer now to the right of Trial by Jury, 
the people's right to a participation in Government, 
Freedom of Speech, and of the Press, the Eight of 
Petition, Freedom of Religion. And these are special 
characteristics of the English language. They are 
rights, which in their full form and rigid features, do 
not exist among any other people. It is true that 
they have had historical development : but their semi- 
nal principles seem inherent in the constitution of this 
race. "We see in this people, even in their rude con- 

* "Sec Church in the Colonics, Xo. xxii. A Journal of the visitation 
of the Bishop of Capetown. A rs of the Bishop of New Zea- 

land, etc., etc." 


dition, the roots from which liave sprung so fair and 
so beautiful a tree. And these conserving elements, 
carefully guarded, deepened and strengthened in their 
foundations from age to age, as wisdom and sagacity 
seemed to dictate ; illustrated and eulogized by the 
highest genius, and the most consummate legal ability ; 
have carried these states, the old country, the Repub- 
lic of America, and the constitutional colonies of 
Britain, through many a convulsive political crisis ; 
the ship of state, rocked and tossed by the wild waves 
of passion, and the agitations of faction ; but in the 
end leaving her to return again to the repose of calm 
and quiet waters ! 

In states thus constituted, no matter how deep 
may be the grievance, how severe the suffering, the 
obstructive element has to disappear ; the disturbing 
force, whether man or system, must be annihilated ! — 
for freedom is terrible as well as majestic ; and the 
state emerges from the conflict with a fresh acquisition 
of strength, and with an augmented capacity for a 
nobler career and loftier attainments. This fact ex- 
plains the progressive features of all Anglican politi- 
cal society. Revolution seems exoteric to it ; but the 
tide of reform in legal, constitutional, channels, sweep- 
ing away obstructive hindrances, goes onward and 
upward in its course. 

I quote here a remark of a distinguished writer, a 
lady : — " The original propensities of race are never 
eradicated, and they are nowhere more prominent than 
in the progress of the social state in France and Eng- 
land. The vivacity and speculative disposition of the 
Celt, appear in the rapid and violent changes of gov- 


ernment, and in the succession of theoretical experi- 
ments in France ; while in Britain, the deliberate 
slowness, prudence, and accurate perceptions of the 
Teuton, are manifest in the gradual improvement and 
steadiness of their political arrangements." (Here she 
quotes a passage from Johnson's Physical Atlas.) 
" The prevalent political sentiment of Great Britain 
is undoubtedly conservative, in the best sense of the 
word, with a powerful undercurrent of democratic 
tendencies which give great power and strength to 
the political and social body of this country, and 
make revolutions by physical force almost impos- 
sible.* * * * Great Britain is the only country in 
Europe which has had the good fortune to have all 
her institutions worked out and framed by her in a 
strictly organic manner ; that is, in accordance with 
organic wants which require different conditions at 
different and successive stages of national develop- 
ment — and not by theoretical experiments, as in many 
other countries, which are still in a state of excitement 
consequent upon these experiments. The social char- 
acter of the people of this country, besides the features 
which they have in common with other nations of 
Teutonic origin, is, on the whole, domestic, reserved, 
aristocratic, exclusive." * 

The spirit of the above contrast is truly and ac- 
curately reproduced in the lines of a great poet : — 

" A love of freedom rarely felt, 
Of freedom in her regal scat 
Of England ; not the school-boy heat, 
The blind hysterics of the Celt." 

* "[Mrs.] Soraerville's Physical Geography," ch. 33. 


And another of England's great poets, the calmest, 
quietest, the least impassioned of all her bards ; 
moved by this theme, bursts forth in the burning- 
words : — 

" We must 

Be free or die ! who speak the language 
Shakspeare spake ; the faith and morals hold 
Which Milton held ! " 

(d) Lastly, in pointing out the main features of 
the English language, I must not fail to state its pe- 
culiar identity with religion. For centuries this lan- 
guage has been baptized in the spirit of the Christian 
faith. To this faith it owes most of its growth, from 
a state of rudeness and crudity, to its present vigor, 
fulness, and expressiveness. It is this moreover 
which has preser¥ed its integrity, and kept it from 
degenerating into barren poverty on the one hand, or 
luxuriant weakness on the other. The English Bible, 
more than any other single cause, has been the prime 
means of sustaining that purity of diction, that sim- 
plicity of expression, that clearness of thought, that 
earnestness of spirit, and that loftiness of morals, 
which seem to be distinctive peculiarities of this lan- 
guage. Its earliest ventures for a true life, were 
wrestlings with the spirit of the Word. Previous to 
the invention of printing, pious Kings and holy 
Priests made their first attempts in English, in their 
rude essays to write, " in their own language," the 
words and precepts of the Gospels. Its first lispings 
were in Scriptural translations, its earliest stammer- 
ings in fervent prayers, holy Primers, and sacred 
minstrelsy. Then when the Press unfolded its leaves, 


its first pages were vernacular readings of the Word of 
God. From thence, ever since, as from a fountain- 
head, has flowed a mixed stream of thought and ge- 
nius and talent, in all the departments of science, of 
law, and of learning ; but the whole has been colored 
and leavened, and formed by, and under, the plastic 
influence of Christianity. The Bible and its precepts, 
has been the prompting spirit of its legal statutes, its 
constitutional compacts, its scientific ventures, its 
poetic flights, its moral edicts. But above and be- 
yond all these, this language has delighted to expand 
and express itself in Tracts, and Tales, and Allegories ; 
in Catechisms, and Homilies, and Sermons ; in heav- 
enly Songs, sacred Lyrics, and divine Epics ; in Lit- 
urgies and Treatises, and glowing Apologies for the 
Faith ; sweeping along in a pure find gracious flood, 
which in the end shall empty itself into a blessed 
eternity ! 

These then are the main peculiarities of this lan- 
guage, and these some of the rich gifts it bestows 
upon us. But while, indeed, dwelling as I do, with 
delight, upon the massy treasures of this English 
tongue, I would not have you to suppose that I forget 
the loss which has accompanied all this gain. Do not 
think, I pray you, that I am less a man, that I have 
less the feelings of a man ; because I would fain illus- 
trate a favoring providence, — 

"And justify the ways of God to man." 

No ! 1 do not forget that to crive our small fraction 
of the race the advantages I have alluded to, a whole 
continent has been brought to ruin ; the ocean has 


been peopled with millions of victims ; whole tribes 
of men have been destroyed ; nations on the threshold 
of civilization reduced to barbarism ; and generation 
upon generation of our sires brutalized ! !No, my re- 
marks, at best, are discordant ; and I avoid collateral 
themes in order to preserve as much unity as possible, 
while endeavoring to set forth the worth and value 
of the English language. 

And this is our language. But notice here the 
marks of distinctive providence. Our sad and cruel 
servitude has been passed among men who speak this 
tongue ; and so we have been permitted, as the 
Israelites of old, to borrow " every man of his neigh- 
bor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of 
silver and jewels of gold." * But now, on the other 
hand, as to that portion of our race whose lot has 
been cast among other sections of the European family ; 
what advantages, what compensation have they reaped 
which can compare with our riches and our gain ? 
Where do we find among them a Bill of Bights, the 
right of trial by Jury, or, an act of Habeas Corpus ? 
Where do they know clearly and distinctly the theory 
of Free Speech, of a Free Press, of Constitutional 
Government ? — where are they blessed with such a 
noble heritage as the English Bible, and all the vast 
wealth, both religious and political, of the literature 
of England and America ? It is not in Cuba, nor in 
Porto Pico. ISTot in Guadaloupe, not in Martinique. 
Even in Brazil these ideas are but struggling for life ; 
and their continued existence is doubtful. Time is 
yet to show whether either the white or black race 

* Exodus, ch. xi. 2. 


there, will ever rise to their full height and grandeur. 
With all our hopes of, and pride in Hayti, her history 
shows how sad a schooling she has had ! In truth, 
how could France or Spain train the Negro race to 
high ideas of liberty and of government, when all 
their modern history has been an almost hopeless 
effort > to learn the alphabet of freedom, — to tread the 
first steps of legal self-restraint ? I grant that not 
unfrequently they present the individual black man, 
refined, elegant, accomplished, and learned, far be- 
yond any that spring up on American or English soil. 
But in capacity for free government, and civil order, 
the British West India Isles, Sierra Leone, the free 
colored men of America, and our own Republic are, 
without doubt, far in advance of all the rest of the 
children of Africa under the sun. * Indeed it is only 
under the influence of Anglo-Saxon principles that 
the children of Africa, despite their wrongs and in- 
juries, have been able to open their eyes to the full, 
clear, quiet, heavens, of freedom, far distant, though at 
times they were ! 

3. I venture now to call your attention to a few 
remarks upon the probable destiny of this English 
language, in this country, and throughout this conti- 

And here, as everywhere else on the globe, one 
cannot but see the most magnificent prospects for this 
noble language.* Its thought, its wisdom, its prac- 

* I quote the following from a learned English journal : — " And as 
of all the works of man language is the most enduring, and partakes the 
most of eternity, as our own language, so far as thought ean project 
itself in the future, seems likely to be coeval with tJio tcorld^and to spread 


ticality, its enterprising spirit, its transforming power, 
its harmonizing influence, and its Christian leavening, 
have gone out everywhere in our territory, and are 
changing and fashioning, not only our small civilized 
communities, but also gradually lifting up and en- 
lightening our heathen neighbors. By a singular 
power it is multiplying its own means and agencies 
for a reproduction of influence, and a further exten- 
sion of power in wider circles. As an illustration of 
this, we have here present to-day, by a remarkable 
providence, as guests — and we are glad to see them 
in our midst — the Captain and this large company of 
officers, of the little Steamer " Sunbeam," bound for 
the upper waters of the ]N~iger ; there to introduce 
trade and civilization, to pioneer letters and culture, 
and to prepare the way for the English Language 
and Religion.* 

One cannot but mark the finger of marvellous 
providence, in the divers ways, in which this lan- 
guage is getting mastery over and securing hold upon 
the masses of natives through all Liberia. Look for 
instance at the fact that the only people these Kru- 
men trust and rely upon, and with whom alone they 

vastly beyond even its present immeasurable limits, there cannot easily be 
a nobler object of ambition than to purify and better it." — Rev. J. C. 
Hare, Philological Museian, vol. i., 665. 

* The Steamer " Sunbeam " came into the Roads of Harper, Wednes- 
day, 25th of July, and the captain, and his officers and company, 
joined in the procession on the 26th, having fired a salute in the morn- 
ing. They all participated in the festivities at a public party in the 
evening, and went off to their steamer at eleven o'clock at night, amid 
the loud cheers of the citizens, who accompanied them to the water's 


are willing to ship for sea, are men who speak the 
English language. And consider here the bearing of 
this fact upon the increase of this speech throughout 
the country. They come from all that section of the 
coast which lies between Bassa and Beribi, and inland 
upwards of 60 miles, and offer themselves as seamen. 
Indeed, the desire for this service is almost a passion 
among them ; boys in scores, run away from their 
parents for sea-service ; I have seen here, in Harper, 
fully that number together, on a Steamer day ; and 
notwithstanding the hindrances and the monopoly of 
the coastwise natives, the interior people run all risks 
to reach the coast to go to sea. The vessels in which 
they ship as sailors are English-speaking vessels. 
And in this way a multitude of them are acquiring 
the habitual use of English. On the coast, between 
Bassa and this point, there are many large towns 
where, among adults, it is almost as constantly em- 
ployed as in our civilized communities.* 

Notice here another fact : among all the indus- 
trial pursuits of our citizens, trading absorbs as 
much attention as any other pursuit. Scores of our 
youth, soon after leaving school, start with their 
cloth, guns, powder, and tobacco, for the factory, 
whether on the coast or in the country. Added to 
this is the other fact, that from Sierra Leone to the 
Equator, the master commercial influence is Engl i si 1. 
Liverpool and Bristol, Boston, Salem, and Baltimore 
rule this coast. The numerous factories which now 

* "Three-fourths of the population of the Kru country speak imper- 
fect, but intelligible English." — Western Africa, &c., p. 103. By Kev. 
J. L. Wilson, D.D. 



exist, and those which are starting np everywhere 
along the coast and np onr rivers, are English-speak- 
ing. So almost universally is this the case, that 
Dutch, French, and Sardinian vessels find an ac- 
quaintance with English an absolute necessity, and 
are lost without it. 

Thus, by these varied means, the English language 
is gradually extending itself throughout this country, 
and rivalling the rude native tongues of our aboriginal 
population. ISTow all these divers streams of influ- 
ence, operating daily and hourly all through the 
country, upon thousands of our native population, 
disclose to us a transforming agency, which is gradu- 
ally subverting the native languages of our tribes. 
The influence is here ; it is in operation ; it is power- 
ful. Every day by trading, by adventure, by the 
curiosity of the natives, by war at times, by the mi- 
gration of tribes, by the hasty footsteps of fugitives — 
this English language is moving further and further 
interiorwards its centre, and sweeping abroad with a 
wider and wider circumference. Nor can it be re- 
sisted. It carries with it two mighty elements of con- 
quest : it is attractive, and it is commanding : 1. It 
is attractive, in that it brings cloth, iron, salt, tobacco, 
fish, and brass rods, and all the other divers articles 
which are wealth to the native, and excite his desires. 
Poor, simple, childish, greedy creature ! he cannot rest 
satisfied with the rudeness of nature, nor with the 
simplicity of his sires ; and therefore he will part, at 
any moment, with the crude uncouth utterances of 
his native tongue, for that other higher language, 


which brings with its utterance, wealth and gratifica- 

2. It is commanding, too, as well as attractive. 
When used merely as the language of trade, it brings 
to these people the authority of skill, ingenuity, and 
art, in tasteful fabrics, in finely-wrought domestic ar- 
ticles, in effective instruments of warfare. The acqui- 
sition of it is elevation. It places the native man 
above his ignorant fellow, and gives him some of the 
dignity of civilization. New ideas are caught up, 
new habits formed, and superior and elevating wants 
are daily increased. Then the instruction in schools, 
and service in our own families for a few years, put 
the native boy so far in advance of his tribe that he 
must either become head-man or revolutionist ; and 
if the latter, dividing the nation and carrying his 
party to a higher mode of living, and to a closer con- 
nection with Liberians or foreign traders. 

As to the future results of this rivalry there can 
be no doubt ; for, first of all, it is a superior tongue ; 
and in all the ideas it expresses, it comes to the na- 
tive man with command and authority ; next, it ap- 
peals to him in the point of his cupidity ; and his 
selfish nature yields to an influence which gratifies 
his desires and his needs. And it is thus, by the 
means of commerce, and missions, and government, 
that this lanjmasre is destined to override all diffi- 
culties, and to penetrate to the most distant tribes, 
until it meets those other streams of English influence 
which flow from Sierra Leone on the north and from 
Abbeokuta on the east ; and so, at the last, the Eng- 
lish language and the English religion shall rule for 


Christ, from the Atlantic to Timbuctoo, and all along 
both the banks of the Niger.* 

Powerful as are these divers agencies in working 
out the end suggested, they are far inferior to one 
other, which I must hold up to distinctive notice. 
Christianity is using the English language on our 
coast as a main and mighty lever for Anglicizing our 
native population, as well as for their evangelization. 

I have already referred, in part, to the work of 
Missions : but there are some peculiarities in this 
work which clearly show that Christ is going to put 
all this part of the coast in possession of the English 
language, English law, and the English religion, for 
his own glory. Hundreds of native youth have ac- 
quired a knowledge of English in Mission Schools, 
and then in their manhood have carried this acquisi- 
tion forth, with its wealth and elevation, to numerous 
heathen homes. Throughout the counties, Bassa and 
Montserrada, the Methodists have raised up numbers, 
in the wilderness, whose daily utterance is English ; 
and they are doing this more at the present time than 
ever before. We, who are living in this county, 
know well what a disturbing element, Missions, here, 
have been, both to Heathenism and to the Grebo 
tongue. But how great has been this Missionary 
transformation of the Grebo to English, very few, I 

* There seems every probability that the whole of that part of Africa, 
called Nigritia, which includes what is termed the Negro race proper, is 
to be brought under the influence of the English language, by the agency 
of black men, trained under Anglo-Saxon influences, at the Pongas Mis- 
ion, Sierra Leone, Mendi Mission, Liberia, English Accra, Lagos, and 


judge, have stopped to calculate. For instance, the 
Episcopal Mission, in this neighborhood, comprises at 
least 12 stations ; and this has been its status for, at 
least, 12 years. At these stations, what with day- 
schools and night-schools, for a dozen scholars each ; 
and remembering that, at Cavalla, 100 children, at 
least, are always under training, in reading, writing, 
and arithmetic ; you can see that several thousands 
of our aboriginal population have received a common 
school education in the English language. And num- 
bers of these persons show their appreciation of their 
advantages, by securing the same for their children, 
and coveting them for their kindred. 

And thus, every year, wave after wave dashes 
upon the weak intrenchments of heathenism, and is 
wearing them away ; and thus, also, to change a 
figure, we have illustrated the noble truth, that a 
great language, like the fruitful tree, yields fruit 
after its kind; "and has its seed in itself;"* by 
which it is not only reproduced in its own native 
soil, but also takes possession of distant fields, and 
springs up with all its native vigor and beauty, in 
far off lands, in remote and foreign regions ! 

And now, lest this subject should seem to have 
but slight connection with the rejoicings of the day, 
let me point out a few practical teachings which flow 
from it, and which clearly pertain to our nation's ad- 
vancement, political and moral, and to its future use- 
fulness and power. 

1st. Then I would say, that inasmuch as the Eng- 

*Gen. i. 11. 


lish language is the great lingual inheritance God has 
given us for the future ; let us take heed to use all 
proper endeavors to 'preserve it here in purity, sim- 
plicity, and correctness. We have peculiar need to 
make this effort, both on account of our circum- 
stances and our deficiencies : for the integrity of any 
and all languages is assailed by the newness of scenes 
in which an emigrant population is thrown ; by the 
crudity of the native tongue, with which it is placed 
in juxtaposition ; and by the absence of that correc- 
tive which is afforded, in all old countries, by the 
literary classes and the schools. Here, in our posi- 
tion, besides the above, we have the added dangers 
to the purity of our English, in the great defect of 
our own education ; in a most trying isolation from 
the world's civilization ; in the constant influx of a 
new population of illiterate colonists ; * and in the 
natural oscillation from extremely depressed circum- 
stances to a state of political democracy, on the one 
hand, and an exaggeration of the " ologies," and 
" osophies" of school training, at the expense of plain 
and simple education, on the other. The correctives 
to these dangers are manifest, (a) In our schools we 
must aim to give our children a thorough and sound 
training in the simple elements of common school 
education. Instead of the too common effort to make 
philosophers out of babes, and savans out of suck- 
lings ; let us be content to give our children correct- 
ness, accuracy, and thoroughness, in spelling, reading, 

* Since the delivery of this address a new element has been added to 
our population. The American Government is now sending recaptured 
Africans to Liberia, 


writing, arithmetic, and geography. I cannot but 
regard it as a serious defect in the schools in Liberia, 
that so many teachers undertake to instruct their 
pupils in Chemistry, Botany, and Natural Philosophy, 
before they can write and spell with accuracy. It 
seems to me the wiser course is to ground our youth 
well in the elements of the simple branches, before any 
thing higher is undertaken. Where it is convenient 
and desirable, teachers may aim at something more. 
We are, most certainly, in need of learned men and 
accomplished women. The State moreover is not too 
young, nor our circumstances too humble for us, even 
now, to gather around us the fruits of the highest 
culture and of the profoundest attainments. But all 
learning in our schools should be built upon the most 
rigid and thorough training in those elements which 
enable people to spell and read correctly, and to un- 
derstand and explain, such simple reading as comes 
before them in the Bible, the Prayer-Book, devotional 
books, and common newspapers, (b) But besides 
this, Common School education must needs he made 
more general, superior masters secured, and the neces- 
sities of the case be put more directly icithin the con- 
trol of the citizens, than it is at .present. Perhaps 
there is no defect in our political system so manifest 
and so hurtful, as that its arrangements allow no local 
interests, whether it be in the election of a Constable, 
or the appointment of a Schoolmaster. As a conse- 
quence, all our growth seems to be the result of na- 
tional, in the place of local enterprise; a feeling of 
dependence upon the Capital is exhibited every- 
where ; and there exists, universally, a lack of muni- 


cipal pride and energy. It would be quite beyond 
the limits I have set before me, to enter upon this 
subject, else, I should venture to point out great and 
growing evils which are the result of this state of 
things ; in the points, that is, of political ambition, 
local improvements, roads, and civil order. I confine 
myself, however to the subject of education ; and I 
would fain call the attention of public men to the 
necessity of putting the power of common school edu- 
cation in the hands of the people, in townships,* with 
whatever measure of government aid can be afforded ; 
if, indeed, they wish to see • inaugurated a common 
school system in our country, and desire the continu- 
ance in the land, of sound English speech, thought, 
manners, and morals, (c) In addition to the above, 
let every responsible man in the country, and by re- 
sponsible men, I mean Government Officers, Minis- 
ters, Teachers, and Parents, strive to introduce among 
our youthftd citizens a sound and elevating English 
Literature. In this respect we are greatly endan- 
gered. There is going on, continually, a vast im- 
portation among our young men, of the vilest trash 
conceivable, in the form of books. They are, more- 
over, as poisonous as they are trashy. As trade and 
commerce increase, this evil will increase, and mag- 
nify itself ; and it is a manifest duty to ward off and 
forestall this danger, as soon and as effectually as 
possible. Happily the antidote to this evil is simple, 

* The wide diffusion of education which ha3 distinguished New 
England from her earliest times, is owing to this arrangement. Its great 
and divers advantages are pointed out by De Tocqueville. See " Demcc 
racy in America,'' ch. V. 


and easily available. There are a few standard Eng- 
lish books which, some for generations, some in re- 
cent times, have served the noble purpose of intro- 
ducing the youthful mind to early essays to thought 
and reflection ; to the exercise of judgment and 
reason ; and to the use of a chaste and wholesome 
imagination. It is the nature and office of books, to 
produce these grand results. " For books," to use 
the lofty periods of Milton, " are not absolutely dead 
things, but do contain a potency of life in them, to be 
as active as that soul whose progeny they are — nay, 
they do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and 
extraction of that living intellect that bred them ! I 
know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, 
as those fabulous dragons' teeth, and being sown up 
and down, may chance to spring up armed men." * 

The particular works to which I refer, are so mas- 
terly, and have become so much the staple of the 
Anglo-Saxon mind, that in England, America, and 
the British colonies, numerous editions of them have 
been stereotyped, and may be had almost as cheap as 
palm leaves. I do not speak of the brilliant Essayists, 
of the profound Historians, of the sagacious Moralists. 
I am referring to another class of books, not less dis- 
tinguished indeed, but more level to the common 
taste : works which have been scattered broadcast 
through the whole of Anglo-Saxondom, and the pos- 
session of which is attainable by the humblest per- 
sons, by the simplest investment. Any one of these 
books, which I shall mention, can be bought by any 
one, if he will practice daily a simple act of self- 

* John Milton. Oration for "Unlicensed Printing." 


denial, for a few hours, or put by, occasinally, a 
single twelve and a half cents. My catalogue would 
include the following works : 

Locke on the Mind. Life of Benjamin Franklin. 

Bacon's Essays. Life of James Watt. 

Butler's Analogy. Life of Mungo Park. 

Paley's Natural Theology. History of Eome. 

Wayland's Moral Philosophy. History of Greece. 

Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. History of England. 

Kobinson Crusoe. Milton's Poems. 

Alison on Taste. Oowper's Poems. 

Watts on the Mind. Burder's Self-Discipline. 

Channing's Self-Culture. Todd's Student's Manual. 

The entire list, as several of them are abridged, 
may be purchased for less than three dollars. But 
the value of such a Library to a youth, just starting 
into life, would be incalculable. And no better ser- 
vice could be done the cause of pure speech, correct 
diction, and earnest thought, than a general effort to 
put a Library of this kind within the reach of every 
intelligent boy in the country, of 15 years of age.* 

(d) But besides the correct training of the young, 
I beg to insist upon the great necessity of special care 
being bestowed upon the culture of the female mind in 
Liberia. I feel that I cannot exaggerate the impor- 
tance of this duty. The mothers, sisters, and daugh- 

* Just here, while speaking of books, it is no more than duty to ac- 
knowledge the vast debt of obligation Liberian citizens owe Benjamin 
Coates, Esq., of Philadelphia, U. S. A. Scores of persons in Liberia will 
join in this expression of gratitude. The families are not a few, who, as 
in my own case, beside other books, have likewise their valuable Coates' 


tors of the land, arc to train the whole of the rising 
generation, now growing up around us, down, forever 
through all the deep dim vistas of coming ages. The 
influence of woman in this great work is deeper and 
more powerful than that of man ; and especially in 
those years of our life when we are most susceptible. 
But no one who looks carefully at the state of things 
in this country, can suppose, for a moment, that 
either justice is done to the intellect of this sex, or, 
that women, in this land, feel the burden of obligation 
which rests so heavily upon them. The latter fact, 
however, peculiarly affects me. I must confess my- 
self amazed, at the general frivolousness of the female 
mind, in this country. It is one of the most astonish- 
ing problems that my mind has ever been called upon 
to solve, how women can live such trifling, unthink- 
ing lives, as they do in this land. When I look at 
the severe and rugged aspects of actual existence in 
this young country, I find it difficult to understand 
how it is that Parisian millinery can maintain such a 
tyrannous control, as it does, over the sex, from Cape 
Mount to Palm as. 

B I do not blame women so much for this state of 
things ; nor do I forget the somewhat pardonable fact 
that dress is the only Fine Art we have in Liberia. 
The world has been six thousand years in existence, 
and it has hardly yet begun to do justice to the in- 
tellect of woman.* Here, on this soil, this injustice 

* " It seems needful that something should be said specially about 
the education of women. As regards their interests they have been un- 
kindly treated — too much flattered, too little respected. They are shut 
up in a world of conventionabilities, and naturally believe that to be the 


cannot be perpetuated with safety. What with the 
present state of the census, — more than half of the 
population being females ; and the colonization ships, 
from the necessities of the case, sending us every 
six months two women to one man ; we shall, by and 
by, reach a state of moral shipwreck ; and the sad 
examples of the heathen, will, ere long, begin to act 
injuriously upon our social and domestic state, if we 
are not carelul aud foresighted. This will surely be 
the case, especially in the humblest walks of life, if 
we do not strive to raise our daughters and our sisters 
to become the true and equal companions of men, and 
not their victims. He who keeps wide open the eyes 
God has given him, cannot be blind to some sad ten- 
dencies which already show themselves in our social 
state. And reform, in this particular, cannot com- 
mence too soon. Two or three things can be done 
immediately. (1) Let every respectable householder 
make the effort to put in his wife's hand some thought- 
ful Literary Journal, such as " Littell's Living Age," 
or " Chambers' Journal ; " by which both taste and 
thought may be cultivated, and the mind be started 
on the track of reflection. (2) Let some influential 
persons attempt to gather, in clubs or a society, the 
aspiring matrons and young women, in our commu- 
nities, for reading, composition and conversation upon 
improving topics. Let the scheme projected be hum- 
ble and simple ; let it be elementary, even in its 
nature ; and by gradual steps, rise to something more 

only world. The theory of their education seems to be, that they should 
not be made companions to men, and some would say they certainly are 
not." — Friends in Council ', B. 1, ch. viii. 


ambitious ; why, indeed, may not ministers of the 
Gospel lead el >f their congregations in this intel- 

lectual effort ? There is certainly nothing unholy in 
it ; there is surely much that may lead to and foster 
piety in it ; much that would have the sanction of 
Scripture. Indeed, is not the religion of Christ to he 
the great regenerating agent in all mental, as well as 
all spiritual things ? Is not the church to take the 
lead in all things that are to elevate and dignify man ? 
In any event, and by all means, do not let us go on 
in the dull, unthinking way we are now treading ; 
and leave the minds of children and youth, in our 
families, unblessed by that pure speech and strong 
Anglo-Saxon thought, which come with the most im- 
pressive force, from the graceful mind, and the tender 
voice of cultivated womanhood." (3) But the master 
need in Liberia is that of a female seminary, of a 
high order, for the education of Girls, Already our 
wives and daughters are in the rear of ourselves and 
sons, in training and culture ; humble as we all are, 
in this country, in acquirements, yet there is a class 
of men in Liberia who are fully fifty years in advance 

* I cannot resist the temptation to add here another fine extract from 
the learned English journal before quoted. "It is a most happy and 
beautiful provision that children should imbibe their native language 
primarily and mainly from their mothers, should suck it in, as it wore, 
along with their milk ; this it is that makes it their mother tongue. For 
women are much more duteous recipients of the laws of nature and so- 
; they are much less liable to be deluded by fantastical theories; 
and it i.s an old and very true remark, that in order to feel all the beauty 
and purity of any language, we must hear it from the lips ***** of a 
ble, well-educated woman." — [jfor.j J. C. JIarc, Philological Mu- 
seum, vol. i., 644. 


of our women, that is, intellectually. The operations 
of High Schools, now in existence, the High Schools 
for boys projected, the other educational preparations 
going on, for Colleges and Seminaries, the return, 
ever and anon, of professional young men, Lawyers, 
Doctors, Ministers, who are sent to America to be 
educated, witli the mental training afforded men in 
mercantile pursuits, political contests, legal affairs 
and Legislative duty ; will place men, before long, a 
century ahead of our women. Such mental inequal- 
ity will be a dangerous state for the interests of edu- 
cation and for social well-being. The mental infe- 
riority of women will retard the progress of our chil- 
dren and youth. The intellectual force of the country 
will more and more decline ; Learning and Letters 
will be without influence ; material interests will 
everywhere predominate ; we shall lose the freshness 
and the force of all our Anglo-Saxon antecedents ; 
and at length, men everywhere, will rise up and 
weigh their paltry purses in the scale, over against 
the strongest brains ; and all manhood shall cease in 
the land ! No better corrective to this sad. tendency 
can be found than a good, sound, moral, English 
Education for those, especially, who will be entrusted 
with the rearing and training of our unborn children. 
I beg therefore to urge upon public attention, the im- 
mediate need of raising the standard of female educa- 
tion in this country. I beg to insist upon the deep 
necessity of elevating the mind of woman in the re- 
public, and directing it to noble and commanding 
themes. I beg to enforce the duty of making woman 
in this land as superior, intellectual, and dignified, as 


we all would have her beautiful, and attractive, and 
moral. And to this end all heads of families should 
strive, at the earliest day, to fall upon some plan, to 
found a k km ale seminary, with an able staff of offi- 
cers and teachers.* 

2. The subject we have been considering, teaches 
the duty of National care and effort, that our heathen 
neighbors be trained to the spirit, moral sentiments, 
and practical genius of the language we are giving 

I have already affirmed that more natives speak 
English in Liberia than Anglo- Africans. I wish to 
add to this, the almost certain fact, that by the arriv- 
al of Immigrants, by the opening of interior Stations 
by Missionary Societies in America, the number of 
native men and women who will read and write will, 
ere long, overwhelmingly predominate over us ; so 
that for one civilized Liberian, there will be ten native 
men who will then speak English. Already our fel- 
low-citizens have, at times, to make strange compari- 
sons. It was only yesterday a respectable citizen told 
me that his hired woman expressed unwillingness, on 

* I feel sure that, for the accomplishment of this end, we can, if ne- 
cessary, look to that anxious and painstaking benevolence in America, 
which so very generally anticipates the intellectual needs of Liberia. 
But there are men of means enough in Liberia to start such an under- 
taking ; and there are scores who are able to pay a good sum annually, 
to give their daughters a substantial, and at the same time, a refined 

Since the delivery of this address, Rev. Mr. Blydcn has been acting 
in accordance with the above suggestion in England ; and has succeeded, 
I learn, in raising a considerable amount of funds for a female High 
School in Liberia. 


a recent occasion, to attend prayers in his family, be- 
cause his native boys could read and she could not. 
Her ignorance of letters shamed her, " and made her 
feel," to use her own wise expression, " more than 
ever before the importance of education." These 
comparisons are becoming too frequent ; and by and 
by they will extend to communities as well as to in- 
dividuals, unless we provide more fully for the im- 
provement of our own colonists. But I only mention 
the above facts in order to show how rapid is the ad- 
vance of the heathen in our own know ledge and ac- 
quaintance. And now the question arises, are these 
people to be quickened by letters to become only in- 
telligent heathen ? Are we, by contact with them, 
to give them only an intellectual paganism ? Is our 
influence upon them to touch only the brain, and not 
life, maimers, the family, society ? or rather should 
we not as a Nation, take upon us the duty of so train- 
ing these people, that as they receive the language, 
so they may likewise receive the civilization, the 
order, the industry, and the mild, but transforming 
influences of a regulated Christian state ? The Mis- 
sion of Liberia, in its civil aspects, is clear to my 
mind. This nation is to restore society all along our 
coast ; and by restoring society to regulate social life, 
to quicken in its growth the " tender plant of confi- 
dence," in both a direct and indirect manner to ele- 
vate the domestic state, to give rise to industrial 
activity, and to establish good neighborhood. How- 
ever humble the effort may be, still it seems to me 
that we ought to have, in each county, an industrial 
School for native boys who are fugitives, or wander- 


ers, or who have been convicted of crime ; where 
they could he trained to the use of the plough and 
hoe, and receive a good, but simple English educa- 
tion. Our neighbors too, that is, those who live 
near our settlements, should be bound, by law, to 
make broad and substantial roads for travel, to keep 
the Sabbath, and to conform more to our habits of 
dress than they now do. Moreover we cannot be too 
early in giving them the benefit of the great Saxon 
institutions of Trial by Jury, and personal protection. 
Life should be made sacred among them in the neigh- 
borhoods of our larger towns. The Sassy-wood 
Ordeal should be put an end to, and a due process 
of law guaranteed to all criminals and suspected 
parties among them. This I know could not be done 
in remote places ; but in the vicinity of our towns 
and settlements, sanguinary retaliation, envy, and 
revenge should not be allowed to show themselves as 
they now do ; nor the awful scenes which take place, 
almost under our eyes, be suffered to barbarize our 
children. Indeed, both for their benefit and our own, 
law and authority cannot be too soon established 
among them on a firm basis, and with full legal 
forms. It is a matter alike of policy and of duty for 
us to attempt, though at a humble distance, the same 
legal reformation among this people that the English 
have, with great success effected in India. There is 
no greater disparity here in our relative numbers, 
than there, between the Christian power and the 
heathen masses ; while here we have a population at 
once simple and unenlightened to deal with, and the 
presence and protection of the three chief naval 


powers of the world. Moreover we have this en- 
couragement in any such undertaking, namely, that 
our heathen neighbors are ambitious of improve- 
ment, and always welcome the changes and the regu- 
lations, which tend to make them " Americans." 

3. Finally let us aim, by every possible means, 
to make indigenous, in this infant country, the spirit 
and genius of the English language, in immediate 
connection with its idiom. 

You all doubtless remember the solemn utterance 
of St. James that " the body without the spirit is 
dead." * So likewise a language without its character- 
istic features, stamp, and spirit, is a lifeless and un- 
meaning thing, and must, ere long, degenerate into a 
crude, mongrel, discordant jargon. If the English 
had educated their "West India blacks they would 
never have committed so great a blunder, as they did 
before emancipation, as the publication of the Bible 
for them, in broken English : — a miserable caricature 
of their noble tongue. All low, inferior, and barbar- 
ous tongues are, doubtless, but the lees and dregs of 
noble languages, which have gradually, as the soul of 
a nation has died out, sunk down to degradation and 
ruin. "We must not suffer this decay on these shores, 
in this nation. "We have been made, providentially, 
the deposit of a noble trust ; and we should be proud 
to show our appreciation of it. Having come to the 
heritage of this language we must cherish its spirit, 
as well as retain its letter. "We must cultivate it 
among ourselves ; we must strive to infuse its spirit 
among our reclaimed and aspiring natives. And 

* St, James, ii. 26. 


what that spirit is we have witnessed in the character 
of the people among whom we have lived, across the 
waters ; in their strong institutions ; in the history of 
their ancestors ; in the distinctive features of their 
governmental antecedents ; in their colonies ; their re- 
ligion, letters, and commerce. The spirit of the Eng- 
lish language is the spirit of Independence, both per- 
sonal and national ; the spirit of free speech and a 
free press, and personal liberty ; the spirit of reform 
and development ; the spirit of enterprise ; the spirit 
of law, of moral character, and spiritual beneficence. 

With these ideas we have been familiar from our 
youth. Wherever the English language is spoken 
these sentiments arc the daily utterances of men. 
Even in those cases where there is the widest separa- 
tion between theory and practice, even there the idea 
of freedom exists and secures expression. The Amer- 
ican black man, even in the States of slavery, has 
been in a school of freedom, from which even the 
Italian, the German, the Frenchman, the Russian, 
and the Sardinian, have been separate and alien. lie 
has had unfolded to him, in harangues, in public 
speeches, in grand orations, in the social talk of the 
table and the fireside, in the august decisions of 
Courts and Legislatures, and in the solemn utterances 
of State papers, all the sublime abstractions of human 
rights and civil freedom. 

You and I have been accustomed to the utterance 
of the noblest theories of liberty, the grandest ideas 
of humanity, all our lifetime ; and so were our la- 
thers. And although we have been shorn of our 
manhood, and have, as yet, attained only a shrivelled 


humanity ; still there is some satisfaction in the re- 
membrance, that ideas conserve men, and keep alive 
the vitality of nations. These ideas, alas ! for the 
consistency of men ! though often but abstractions 
there, have been made realities here. We have 
brought them with us to this continent ; and in this 
young nation are striving to give them form, shape, 
and constant expression. With the noble tongue 
which Providence has given us, it will be difficult for 
us to be divorced from the spirit, which for centuries 
has been speaking through it. For a language acts 
in divers ways, upon the spirit of a people ; even as 
the spirit of a people acts with a creative and 
spiritualizing force upon a language. But difficult 
though it be, such a separation is a possibility. And 
hence arises the duty of doing all we can to keep 
alive these grand ideas and noble principles. May 
we be equal to this duty — may we strive to answer 
this responsibility ! Let us endeavor to live up to 
the sentiments breathed forth in all the legal charters, 
the noble literature, the religious learning of this 
tongue. Let us guard, even here, the right of Free 
Speech. Let us esteem it one of the proudest boasts 
of this land, and, to appropriate the happy language 
of a heathen — esteem it " the rare felicity of our 
times that, in this country, one can think what he 
pleases, and speak what he thinks." * Let us prize 
the principle of Personal Liberty, as one of the 
richest jewels of our constitutional diadem. Let us 
not shrink from the severest test to which a heathen 

* " Rara tempo-rum felicitate, ubi sentire quge velis, et quae sentia9 
dicere licet," — Tacitus, Hist., lib. 1, cap. 2. 


and degraded population around us, may at times 
strain it. Let us, amid all the extravagances of their 
crude state, guarantee, even them, the full advantage 
of it. Conscious of the nobleness of this great consti- 
tutional principle, may we allow it full force and un- 
restricted expression. Let us rejoice that our Repub- 
lic, diminutive as it is in the group of nations, is 
already a refuge for the fugitive ; and congratulate 
one another upon the fact that we can already apply 
to our state and position, the proud lines of Whit- 
tier : — 

u No slave-hunt in our borders, no pirate on the strand, 
No fetters in Liberia ! no slave upon our land." 

Let us endeavor, by the reading of their Jour- 
nals ; by close observation of that venturesome enter- 
prise of theirs, which carries them from " beneath the 
Arctic circle, to the opposite region of Polar cold ;" — 
by a careful inspection of their representatives, who 
visit these shores ; and by a judicious imitation of 
their daring and activity ; let us strive to catch and 
gain to ourselves somewhat the spirit of enterprise 
and progress which characterizes them, in all their 
world-wide homes. Moreover, let us cultivate the 
principle of Independence, both as a nation and as 
individuals, and in our children ; as, in itself a needed 
element of character, as the great antidote to the deep 
slavishness of a three centuries' servitude, and as a 
corrective to the inactivity, the slothfulness, .and the 
helplessness, which are gendered by a tropical dime. 
I am well aware of the exaggeration to which all 
men arc liable to carry this sentiment ; but this, in- 


deed, is the case with all the other noble principles 
which I have alluded to. This possibility of excess is 
one of the conditions of freedom. You cannot hem it 
in, nor any of its accessories, within the line of strict 
propriety, to the rigid margin of cold exactitude. 
And the spirit of independence, the disposition to 
modest self-reliance, the feeling of one's being suffi- 
cient for one's own needs, and temporal requirements ; 
is just one of those golden elements of character, 
which needs to be cultivated everywhere among our 
population. It is conservative, too, as well as demo- 
cratic ; and if it does overflow at times its banks, 
it will not be long ere it will delight to come back to, 
and run, in its proper channel. An antidote to its 
extravagances, will, moreover, be found in the culti- 
vation of another prime characteristic of the English 
language, that is, ns high moral and spiritual char- 
acter. Remembering that " righteousness exalteth 
a nation, but that sin is a reproach to any people ; " 
let us aim at the cultivation among us, of all that 
sensitive honor, those habits of honesty, that purity 
of manners and morals, those domestic virtues, and 
that evangelical piety, which are peculiarly the at- 
tributes of Anglo-Saxon society, States, and homes. 

So, by God's blessing, shall we prove ourselves 
not undeserving of the peculiar providence God has 
bestowed upon us ; and somewhat worthy the in- 
heritance of the great and ennobling English Lan- 




Delivered before the Common Council and the Citizens of Monrovia, 
Liberia, July 26, 1855, being the day of National Independence. 

" Even so doth God protect us, if we be 
Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and waters roll, 
Strength to the brave, and Power and Deity ; 
Yet in themselves are nothing ! One decree 
Spake laws to tliem, and said that by the soul 
Only, the Nations shall be great and free." 


"As men in proportion to their moral advancement learn to en- 
large the circle of their regards ; as an exclusive affection for our 
relations, our clan, or our country, is a sure mark of an unimproved 
mind, so is that narrow and unchristian feeling to be condemned 
* * * * which cares for no portion of the human race, but that 
to which itself belongs." — Dr. Arnold. 

" No man can, by care-taking, as the Scripture saith, add a cubit 
to his stature in this little model of a man's body; but in the great 
frame of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the power of princes 
or estates to add amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms. For by 
introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs as are wise, 
they may sow greatness to their posterity and successors." 

— Lord Bacon. 


Tnis day is the festival of our national inde- 
pendence ; the day of all the year dedicated to joy, 
thanksgiving, the sober thought of national responsi- 
bility, and the earnest pondering upon future des- 
tinies. Let us accept the delights and privileges it 
proffers us ; tempering the elastic joy of youth with 
the calmer reflection of maturer years, and the sage 
wisdom of age. 

I occupy the position to which you have appointed 
me with reluctance, and stand here to fulfil its duties 
with painful diffidence ; for the brief period given me 
by the Committee, has not afforded me time to pre- 
pare for the duty of the day, in a manner adapted to 
the occasion, nor with justice to myself: and, there- 
fore, I am sure there will be no expectation of pleas- 
ing oratory here, nor of the high gratification which 
it affords. Perhaps, however, the simple words and 
the plain thoughts I may present to you may find 
rather a more attentive ear, especially from more 

sober years and minds. 


For you will remember that the first anniversaries 
of this Republic have passed away : and the warm 
exuberance of new-born nationality has given place 
to care, to thought, to the consciousness of burdened 
duty, the weight of national responsibility, and the 
heavy cares of citizenship and government. And, 
therefore, we may more properly, at this time, think 
about our duties and our obligations, as a Christian 
State, and ponder the responsible future now coming 
quickly upon us. 

Moreover, this, I should judge, would be the 
thoughtful tendency of all thinking men among us. 
The burdens of State are increasing every day. Deep 
and weighty questions are constantly arising. More 
and more are we brought into, relation with foreign 
lands. And young as we are, the future begins to 
loom upon us with import and solemnity. 

Such questions have much filled my own mind 
since my residence in this country. And during the 
few days which I have spent in preparing this ad- 
dress, no subject has seemed more deserving of notice 
than this : — " The duty of a rising Christian State 


the same." And this is my subject for the day. 

With respect to this point of obligation, fortu- 
nately for the speaker, as well as for the apprehen- 
sion of his audience, the idea of duty and obligation 
is one so common and so manifest that it needs but 
be mentioned to be felt. The truth comes in upon us 
from different sources, and in divers streams. The 
simple details of common culture, the inobtrusive 


elements of schooling, the plainest fabrics of constant 
wear, the enjoyment of the staples of daily life, the 
facts of commerce, and the observations of travel, 
however limited by individual observation ; all, with 
clearest tone and manifest significance, bespeak the 
mutual dependence of the different families of men, 
as also the obligation of all states and commonwealths 
and empires to contribute to human well-being and 
the progress of nations. 

Among the diverse evidences and suggestions of 
this principle, there are some few most prominent. 
Let me endeavor to prove and illustrate the truth, 
the fixedness, and the universality of this obligation ; 
for the sake of the benefit and the strength of its 
repetition, and of the internal refreshing which comes 
from the " line upon line," " the precept upon pre- 
cept," and which ever proceeds from the iteration of 
all prime truths, all great and fundamental ideas, all 
large and noble principles. 

I commence this argument, for which I feel and 
know myself unfitted, with the remark that, The re- 
lations which nations bear to the whole family of man 
in the aggregate, attest this obligation, and press this 

For there is a relation between individual, distinc- 
tive, nationalities, and the entire race. There is a 
significant meaning in that new word just introduced 
into our language, that is, the u solidarity of nations : " 
for a nation is a collection of men ; not of angels, not 
of demi-gods, not of indescribable celestials ; but of 
men — men of flesh, and blood, aud bone, and muscle ; 
men " of the earth, earthy ; " men of the same make, 


and nature, and appetencies, and destiny, as ourselves, 
and the men of all other nations ; and, therefore, a 
nation is but a section of the great commonwealth of 
humanity, a phase of the common type of "being, and 
no more. 

The endless migrations, the strange wanderings, 
the multitudinous progenitures, and the colonial for- 
mations which have originated the nations of earth, 
eschew the idea of isolation, and show that all are but 
fragments, separate, broken, detached, from some 
large parent form, itself of like origin, which has 
spread itself out, on every side, the common mother 
of nations and races. 

For such is the light which shines even from the 
gloom of history : from one single pair and parentage 
— a race ; from the dawn of time to the days of Noah. 
From the deluge, three distinct forms of race and 
family, which have again budded into life and energy 
divers nationalities, of immortal renown, of boundless 
influence, and commanding name, through all the 
tracks of time. And then, again, since the days of 
our Lord Christ, and especially since the Reforma- 
tion, how the Scandinavian and the Norman races 
have streamed out from their crowded homes or hives 
in the far north and formed those great and mighty 
nations ; which, notwithstanding the semi-barbarism 
of ages, and their brutal love of fight, have mastered 
the world by law, and genius, and learning, and 
science, and the genial outgrowings of art ; and have 
blessed mankind by the religion which has ever tem- 
pered their rudeness ! Nor yet is it Europe only that 
feels the tread of their feet and the might of their 


presence and their influence. They have gone out in 
commerce, in trades, in corporations, and in missions ; 
— streaming along the banks of both sides of the 
North American continent, and leaving, as their foot- 
prints, on those mighty shores, cities, and states, and 
commonwealths, and empires ; filling the archipela- 
goes of both the eastern and western hemispheres 
with their offspring, their laws, their letters, and 
religion ; dipping down into the far south seas, and 
sowing the seeds of European civilization among the 
scattered remnants of the Malayan race, far off in the 
wide, wide ocean ; reproducing their restless energy, 
their creative intellect, and their vital faith, on the 
shores of Africa and India ; aiming thence to bear 
them across the steppes of the Altai and to the central 
regions of this vast continent. 

But view this mutual interdependence of nations 
in other aspects. Look out upon the broad and che- 
quered field of universal history, and mark some few 
of its more prominent events which illustrate the truth 
we are now considering. We go back some 4,000 
years in time. We tread the sedgy banks of the 
Nile ; and a princely maiden, while taking her morn- 
ing bath, discovers among the bulrushes an ark of 
flags, bearing as its precious burden a tender Jewish 
babe. The infant boy is carried to the Royal Palace 
of the Pharaohs ; and from that palace comes forth, 
in time, that superior man, the leader of that immor- 
tal race so distinguished in the destinies of man, and 
in the economy of God, — the man Moses ; in whose 
one single name is gathered and included, statesman, 
lawgiver, general, and prophet. And here we see the 


rise of that wondrous code of laws, that system of 
equity, order, and justice, that prolific, as well as 
mysterious, ecclesiastical polity, which makes the 
Jewish race the most singular and prominent ; but 
which has ever since influenced the destinies of man 
in every way, more than any other cause in human 
history. We pass on to a later stage : and from the 
eastern side of the ^Egean we see the movement of 
small communities across its beautiful waters, to seat 
themselves on the fair shores of Greece ; whither 
flowed the streams, now deep, now shallow, of all the 
world's high thought, its culture and refinement : 
and Greece stands forth in all history the central point 
of intellectual greatness, taste, and wisdom. But 
these existed not for Greece alone : all civilized 
Europe through the ages, civilizing and expanding 
Americans, Hindoos, Indians, and regenerated Af- 
ricans ; all men of thought throughout the earth, 
seize upon, and ponder, and strive to master these 
fine creations of the Grecian mind, as the great teach- 
ers of thought and genius. 

The strong, active, energetic Horn an rises before us 
with a fabulous origin, strangely contrasting with the 
real, actual life and bearing, which mark his strong 
hand and his iron sway for centuries. But though 
Roman history is the story of the mastery of might 
over right, of the abeyance of individual freedom, of 
the crushing out of national life, of splendid, but bar- 
baric brute force ; yet Borne has transmitted the 
legacy of two valuable principles to man — invincible 


The Jew, the Greek, the Bom an — types of re- 


ligion, of intellect, and power ; they have vanished 
and departed. Bnt still their spirit remains ; for 
that spirit forms the elements of our faith, of our 
culture, and of our national rule and State polity. The 
religion which we profess, the modes of reasoning we 
adopt, the intellectual methods we employ, the ele- 
ments of our youthful instruction, our modes of gov- 
ernment, the authority and the forms of law, the sim- 
plest types of architecture, and some of the common- 
est modes of manners and refinement, all link the 
present with the past, and clearly show the unity of 
the race. 

The race, in the aggregate, is to go forward and 
upward. This is the destiny which God has incor- 
porated in the very elements of our moral being. 
The failure of this type, or the destruction of that 
form, is no prevention of nature's upward reaching. 
They are as the falling of the leaves in a foreign 
autumn, in consequence of which, in spring-time, the 
forest appears, apparelled in beauty, and gorgeously 
laden with masses of foliage. And to this advance- 
ment all the sections of the race are to add their con- 
tributions, and to send in their quota of gift and 
influence. And thus we see that all the preceding 
generations of mankind, and all the various nations, 
have lived for every successive generation, and all 
have been the workers for, and the benefactors of, 
/// As' age in which we live, and of this land which we 
call our country and our home. And so there is no 
isolation ; no absolute disseverance of individual na- 
tions ; for blood and lineage, and ancient manner.-, 
and religion, and letters, all tend to combine nation- 


alities and link them in indissoluble bonds, despite 
all the lapses of time. In this manner, therefore, we 
are taught that the Hebrew polity, so wise, so just, 
and so sacred, was not local in its bearings and in- 
tents ; but that, in its ultimate ends and aims, it was 
our polity, and the polity of all Christendom, ay, and 
of all the world. For us, moreover, Greece was 
raised up with her unri vailed eloquence, matchless 
wisdom, and fine ideas and forms of beauty. And 
Rome — imperial Home — stands before us, immortal ! 
in practical wisdom, in stirring energy, and in her 
matchless capability of rule ! 

Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that our life, 
our culture, and our civilization are but the result of 
the ceaseless energy of mind and body of all past 
nations. And of all these nations, if we are grateful 
men, we are bound to turn to Palestine, Greece, and 
Italy, with beaming eyes ; and, to use the words of 
Aenold, " draw near with reverence " to them, " as 
those higher causes which, proceeding directly from 
the inscrutable will of our Maker, seemed designed 
to humble the presumption of fancying ourselves the 
arbiters of our own destiny ; " * and, if I may add 
my own words to his profundity and insight, — seemed 
designed also to teach us, as a nation, that we are not 
to live merely for ourselves, but to bless the present 
generation of nations, and to send down the benefi- 
cence of our regards, of our activities, and our virtues 
to other peoples, and to future times ! 

I go on to show the obligation of nations to con- 
tribute to the well-being and civilization of man, 

* Dr. Arnold. See Miscellanies. 


from a consideration of the moral ends and duties 
of nations. 

The primary ends of civil government are the 
conservation of men's lives, bodies, and goods. But 
there are also remote and ultimate ends, which per- 
tain to Morals, Duty, Obligations, and Justice. 

For moral character is an idea — as true, exact, 
and absolute, applied to a nation as to a man. A 
moral system which claims authority only in its pri- 
vate, personal, application to men, but withdraws 
from them so soon as the individual is merged in the 
association or the body politic, is nothing but vague- 
ness, darkness, and confusion. " Xations and indi- 
viduals," says Channing, " are subjected to one law. 
The moral principle is the life of communities." Un- 
der no moral code can the individual eschew truth 
and justice. Neither can the nation throw them 
aside, and perform its functions, treating right, and 
truth, and principle as matters of indifference : for 
the magistrate and the lawgiver meet the august 
presence of Truth alike in all the details of adminis- 
trative law, and in the commonest minutiaB of civil 

We cannot, indeed, speak of the conscience of a 
nation ; for conscience is so personal a quality, that it 
is only by a strong figure of speech that we can apply 
it to nations. But all those moral qualities which 
are subsidiary to conscience are so manifestly brought 
out and recognized in all, even the minutest, acts 
and offices of government, that it is but a bare, dis- 
tinct verity, and no metaphor, to speak of the moral 
duties and obligations of nations. 


The internal moral obligations of nations are plain 
and evident : cultivation of religion, the maintenance 
of justice, the progress of education, the upholding 
of law and order, and national growth. All these 
arise from the paternal relation of government : a 
doctrine as old as it is true, and recognized by 
heathen nations, as well as by the Hebrew writ- 

But now we are led to ask, " Are there not exter- 
nal moral duties resting upon nations ? " Moral law 
applies to them in relation to their citizens and sub- 
jects ; but does it not also apply to them with respect 
to bodies outside of their own rule and power ? Do 
not nations owe duty and obligation to other nations ? 
Such, we cannot doubt, is the common consent of 
mankind and the teaching of all national history ; 
though dimmed and obscured in olden times by cruel 
barbarism and savage wars. "We catch a glimpse of 
this in the leagues, compacts, and alliances of Pagan 
nations. The treaties they formed for the promotion 
of commerce, the mutual obligation for aid and succor 
in times of danger, bespeak a sense of national obliga- 
tion to benefit and bless. They showed the presence 
of these principles, in the very article of war, by 
beautiful displays of equity, of honor, and of clem- 
ency. "When the thirty tyrants at Athens drove 
out the very flower of that city, and forbade the 
other cities of Greece to show them hospitality or 
to give them succor ; the people of Thebes humanely 
received them, and, by law, threatened those of their 
own citizens who might refuse to assist these unpro- 
tected refugees. " War has its rights as well as 


peace," said Camillas,* the Roman Dictator, struck 
with horror and disgust at the treachery of one of 
the Falisci, against whom he was warring. Indeed, 
Avarlike and domineering as the Romans were, they 
frequently exhibited honor, magnanimity, and justice. 
Their common practice of siding with the oppressed 
and of defending the weak may have been policy, 
but it was also the teaching and the instinct of gener- 
osity and high-mindedness. And the equity and the 
faithfulness with which they generally carried out 
their promises to the vanquished, show the presence, 
even in their darkened state, of those large and noble 
principles of humanity which now are part of the 
law of nations ; and they also teach that which I 
am endeavoring to elucidate — that is, that it is the 
moral duty of nations to advance human well-being 
and the civilization of the race. 

Under the influence of Christianity, the idea of 
brotherhood has been gaining influence and author- 
ity ; so, likewise, the principle of national good-will 
has kept pace with the moral progress of the age. 
Ruthless brute force, unreasoning domination, no 
longer decide the fate of inferior nations. Moral con- 
siderations have now a decided influence in regulating 
national intercourse. So strong is this influence, that 
" international law " has become a distinctive branch, 
commanding the life-long attention of distinguished 
minds. So pure, humane, and genial is its spirit, 
that one great authority declares its purpose to be, 
" to insure the observance of justice and good faith in 
that intercourse which must frequently occur between 

* Livy, b. 6. 


two or more nations."* A great moralist of our own 
day declares that " ' international law ' is capable of 
progressive standards ; that it must acknowledge the 
authority of morality, and must, in order to conform 
to the moral nature of man, become constantly more 
and more moral."f One remarkable evidence of this 
genial progress of moral law among nations is the 
fact that the chief states of Christendom have concert- 
edly, and without the desire of advantage, but from 
principles of humanity, discouraged and condemned 
the slave trade. So, likewise, the cause of peace, 
which once was the scoff of "wits, and which elicited 
the sneer of the great, has now lost all its supposed 
littleness. For, at this day, gray-haired veterans in 
states-craft recognize with clearness the binding tie 
of humanity, and esteem it the highest statesmanlike 
wisdom, and the noblest achievement of diplomacy, 
to stay the effusion of blood, and to bind in concord 
the families of nations. I verily believe that Russell 
the statesman, would rather have won a peace at Vi- 
enna, than have been the hero of Alma, of Balaklava, 
or of Inkermann ; and to gain power, as a Minister 
of England, that thereby he may stanch the wounds 
of bleeding nations, is, I feel, a higher object of ambi- 
tion to the mercurial Diskaeli than all the boast of 
military renown ; and this not merely from considera- 
tions of policy or from motives of gain, but because 
the civilization of England is interpenetrated by the 
Faith of England, and her large-minded statesmen 
recognize the obligation of morality in all the machi- 

* Blackstone. 

f Dr. Whewell, " Elements of Morality," b. Ti., chap. 1. 


neiy of statesmanship. And thus the Christian senti- 
ment of the world forces itself upon states, and diplo- 
macies, and policies, and fixes the noble sentiment 
that a nation, even as the personal being, cannot hold 
itself back from the law of moral responsibility. For, 
as no individual man can draw himself off from his 
fellow-man, and proclaim/ ' I am distinct from the 
mass of humanity" so no nation can set itself off, un- 
concerned, from the rest of the race. " ]Sk> man liveth 
to himself," is a truth as positive in its application to 
a nation as to a man ; a truth recognized everywhere, 
and in all history ; anticipated, long centuries before 
its sacred utterance, as truly veritable as on the day 
when the inspired penman wrote it. For the words 
of the heathen Terence — 

" Homo sum ; humani nihil a me alienum puto " — 

contain just the same spirit as the sentiment of Shaks- 
peare — 

" One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." 

Once more, I would further add that, if related 
humanity and moral law teach beneficence as the du- 
ty of nations, so, likewise, the commerce of nations. 
For this seems the clear mandate of Heaven : " The 
nations that will not hold intercourse with other peo- 
ples, in trade and barterings, and thus bless the 
world, they shall suffer and shall die ! " 

A non-commercial spirit and practice has always 
stifled the life of nations, or laid them low in ruins. 
In the history of the " Decline and Fall " of nations, 
this will yet be shown to have been one of the most 
potent agencies of national decay ; for among the cle- 


ments of the life of nations some of the chiefest are 
the commodities of foreign lands, the infused blood of 
foreign people, the freshening influence of foreign 
thought and sentiment, and the quickening power of 
foreign enterprise and activity. We see, in different 
quarters of the globe, the scattered, broken relics of 
divers nations. Some, like the inhabitants of the isles 
of the sea, remained, untold centuries, apart from the 
world's civilization, until some venturesome naviga- 
tion brought them into contact with cultivated man ; 
and then they went down at once to speedy decay 
and swift destruction, the very atmosphere of cultivat- 
ed life proving too strong for their emasculated na- 
tures. It is said that no enlightenment, no cultiva- 
tion, not even Christianity, can save the Sandwich 
Islanders ; the degeneracy of heathenism, their long 
isolation from the human family for so many centu- 
ries, have so lessened their vitality and vitiated their 
blood, that there is no hope for them, and they must 
die out ! With their partial civilization, the Chinese 
stood still for centuries, refusing commercial inter- 
course with the nations ; and God's providence 
brought forth the penal fruits of their national pride 
and misanthropy ; for, first, they were made to expe- 
rience that saddest of all national ills save death, a 
wrested, stunted growth, the reversion of that great 
law of being, the law of progress and expansion — and 
next, turning fierce upon humanity, and refusing that 
interchange of thought, and sentiment, and trade, 
which aids the life of both men and nations, humanity 
rose up in the person of Britain, and inflicted upon 
her sore and humbling chastisement. 


How strongly contrasted is the beneficial influence 
of commerce ! How prolific the favors and the fruits 
it everywhere begets ! How numerous the blessings 
it scatters abroad on every side ! It is a remark of 
Dr. Arnold, " Well, indeed, might the policy of the 
old priest-nobles of Egypt and India endeavor to di- 
vert % their people from becoming familiar with the 
sea, and represent the occupation of a seaman as in- 
compatible with the purity of the highest castes. The 
sea deserved to be hated by the old aristocracies, in- 
asmuch as it had been the mightiest instrument in the 
civilization of mankind."* The page of history proves 
this. There are few secular agencies so life-giving, so 
humane, and so civilizing, as is commerce. Let a na- 
tion sleep the sleep of a century's dulness, and then 
some propitious providence draw towards it the needs 
and desires of the nations ; and up it starts to life and 
vigor. Long, long eras had passed away, vast gener- 
ations of men had gone down to the slumbers of the 
sod ; and all the while, from the world's infant days, 
the wild waters of the Pacific had laved the banks of 
California, undisturbed by the fluttering sails and the 
flying wheels of commerce. But the report of its gold 
encircled the globe, and all the world, civilized and 
heathen, sends its representatives to her shores ; civil- 
ization crowns and adorns her valleys and her hills ; 
and religion and enlightenment set up their standard 
along the Pacific shores of America for all future 

Equally apparent is the elevating and civilizing 
influence of commerce. Contact and acquaintance 

Dr. Arnold. See Miscellanies. 


of nation with nation soften asperities and angularities 
of character, introduce the better and superior man- 
ners of each into the other, and cause the mutual 
communication and introduction of new, original, and 
noble ideas. 

Its bearing upon system, order, morals, is mani- 
fest. The Carthaginian and the Roman merchants 
were noted for their sterling honesty and their love 
of justice. People who are uncommercial are given 
to dissimulation, fraud, and trickery. No class of 
men who have the true commercial spirit are so ; for 
the more commercial they become, the more honest 
are they in their dealings, and the more exact and 

And thus, from these few hints, we can easily see 
what a civilizer is commerce ; how it binds men and 
nations to each other ; how it promotes good-will, 
and builds up sterling character. And the considera- 
tion of the whole of this particular topic serves to 
show how, by the order of nature and the will of God, 
natious are bound to contribute to the well-being and 
civilization of the great family of man. 

II. I pass, now, to the second topic into which my 
remarks are distributed, and shall attempt to answer 
the question, — " How, and by what means and agen- 

I could not stand here, and, with self-respect, tell 
this audience that the great powers of the earth wait, 
with deep concern and breathless expectation, our 
offerings and our gifts. Bombast such as this tends 


to the mortification of great minds at home, to our 
disadvantage abroad, and to that inertness and lack 
of enterprise which all false ideas are prone to create. 
We are but a small nation, as yet hardly productive, 
certainly not self-supporting ; but we have national- 
ity, and also the duties and responsibilities which are 
of twin birth with it. Our nationality is to be care- 
fully guarded and cherished as a most precious jewel ; 
but the obligations which are connected with it are 
of equal worth, and demand equal interest, and earn- 
est zeal, for their preservation. I have already shown 
the obligation of nations to contribute to the world's 
well-being. As an humble member of the great sis- 
terhood of nations, this obligation rests upon us. How 
shall we meet this obligation and answer the call of 
this duty ? 

]S"ow, I have no doubt that while speaking of 
blessing and benefiting mankind nationally, some 
here have thought of the material agencies, of trade 
and commerce, as the means to be pointed out, inas- 
much as they seem the chief instrumentalities by 
which one nation comes in contact with and influ- 
ences others ; and I shall not fail to notice these 
means of good to man. But in exhibiting the main 
modes and measures whereby we may fulfil our na- 
tional obligation to the human race, I would urge and 
insist, primarily, and as of the vastest importance, 
that we must cultivate to the highest bent, to the nicest 
coloring of honor, — we must cultivate men ! * This 

* " Our land is rough and poor," said a New Englander, " we can 
raise but little produce, and so we build school-houses and churches. 



mode of expression may, perchance, appear singular ; 
but there is, in reality, nothing extravagant in it. 
" Cultivate men ! " It is a correct expression, and a 
real thing. Men cultivate fields ; they cultivate cat- 
tle, and trees, and birds, and fish ; so, too, they can 
cultivate men. 

The old Komans understood something about this ; 
with an iron hand the Spartans tried their skill at it ; 
so, too, still more and more wisely, the English in 
modern times; and some few other nationalities. 
But, as for the world's history in general, alas ! how 
few know any thing about training and fashioning 
men ! Among the vast millions of human beings on 
earth, and of all its divers nations, what a minimum 
of men ! Yast hordes of male inhabitants there are, 
in this country and in that ; but that largeness of soul 
— that quick, glad recognition of noble principles — 
that love of and reverence for fixed and eternal truth 
— that eager desire for the work of life, which mark 
and characterize men — true men, — in how many of 
the human frame and form, in any land, can you dis- 
cover them ? 

And yet you can easily see the radical necessity, 
in this respect, in two ways. For, first it is only 
men who can make a country. You may have rich, 
productive fields, vast mines of silver, of gold, and of 
diamonds ; a genial clime ; noble rivers, capacious 
harbors, nay, even large masses of inhabitants ; and 
yet you may fail as a nation. That requires citizens 
with large, expanded minds, a fine culture, with nat- 
ural or acquired manners, and a constant delicate 
honor ; giving strength and solidity at home, and fair 


fame, respect, and character abroad. And, next, 
with regard to ourselves, how this need is pressed 
upon our heart of hearts ! For the truth must needs 
be confessed by us all, that our natures have been 
dwarfed and our souls shrivelled by the dread ordeal 
of caste and oppression through which our fathers, 
and some of ourselves, have passed. Why, do not 
you, and you, and you, fellow-citizens, feel the want, 
the lack, the incompleteness of being ? — the idea that 
something is gone ? — that you need something that 
has been taken away, and you cannot seize upon it ? 
— so that, at times, the heart swells, and the tears 
come unbidden, and the mind itself becomes bewil- 
dered \ It is the fruit of that old system, which tracks 
even freemen to freedom's own domain. It is the re- 
membrance of that old death, which retains vitality 
and generates agony even in the region of life and 

Men talk of our having been in training for free- 
dom ! that slavery has schooled us for free govern- 
ment ! We submit to the severe providences of God, 
and recognize his wisdom therein ; but they are nought 
but vain babblers, who speak as though this were 
natural sequence, or legitimate result, or effect, which 
should follow its parent cause — that death should be 
the prime and proper originator of life — that///// and 
pollution should generate purity — that sin should be 
the direct author and agent of salvation — that Satan 
should be the sure guide to godliness and heaven ! 
We reject and scorn all such empty verbosity as this 
— so disgraceful to the cause of freedom, and so dis- 
honoring to the name of liberty ; fur I doubt whether 


there can be found an eminent man in this country 
who is not haunted by the gloomy spectre of past 
thraldom, and who would not give thousands of 
pounds if the whole matter could be blotted out for- 
ever, as history and as a remembrance, and become a 
blank ! 

We must get rid of all this — get rid of it for the 
generations to come.; and the great means thereto is 
cultivation. And what a word of depth, of power, 
of vast import, of broad significance, of profoundest 
meaning, and of far-touching influence, is this ! — a 
word which enters into the training of little children, 
the formation of men's characters, the development 
of women's virtue and moral beauty, the determining 
the power of laws, and the founding of states and em- 
pires ! 

And if the word has such deep and mighty import, 
so, likewise, the work which it implies and places be- 
fore us ; a work which requires all sorts of instru- 
ments and all kinds of agencies. For to cultivate 
men and manhood is no easy task, and can be done by 
no simple, trivial means, nor yet by any special order 
or peculiar class in the state. Men look here to the 
preacher, the missionary, the school teacher, to culti- 
vate and train up the future manhood of the country ; 
and great, I know, is the responsibility which rests 
upon them. But the cultivation of the manhood of a 
nation comes from all sources in the commonwealth, 
and flows in upon the souls of its citizens from all its 
streams of influence : — from the Executive, the prime 
representative of authority, repressing passion, giving 
its wonted authority to cool, calm reason, illustrating 


in his life the quietness, the order, the patriotism, and 
the character, which it is his duty to promote ; from 
the Judges on the bench, forgetful of persons, and 
passing transitory circumstance, remembering the 
awful idea of justice above, preserving their ermine 
unspotted from the stains of spite and prejudice, of 
personality and partisanship ; from the Merchant, 
who, by strict integrity, high honor, business capa- 
city, courtesy, and promptness, incarnates the char- 
acter of his country in the eyes of the foreigner, and 
gives pride and hope to his fellow-citizens ; from the 
plodding, enterprising Farmer, married to the soil, 
and, like a faithful spouse, rejoicing in its fruitful- 
ness ; from the Mechanic and the Artisan — types of 
honest, patient industry, exhibiting daily thrift, skill, 
and ingenuity, the honest pride of manly energy, and 
the dignity of healthful toil ; from the Sailor and the 
Trader — the latter penetrating the wilderness, and 
the former ploughing the main, yet both exhibiting 
that boldness, endurance, daring, and courage, which 
serve to fill up the hardy element of a people's char- 
acter and to prompt its youth to ambition and adven- 
ture ; from the Teacher and the Clergyman, the rep- 
resentatives of manners and refinement, of culture 
and enlightenment, of high morals and pure speech ; 
holding the tender hearts of little children in their 
hands, and training the young, the mature, and the 
aged in those lofty truths and those divine principles 
which sanctify life in all its phases, and which tell 
upon eternity. 

These are some of the sources whence proceeds the 
cultivation of the men and manhood of a nation. I 


give but an epitome, for the full detail would be tire- 

But besides these agencies, we must a]so consider 
the cultivation itself : what it is in quality, nature, 
character, and purpose. This is too large a theme 
for one day's discussion, but some few simple things 
I may say. In this cultivation of manhood in a 
nation, boys and girls are to be our main material to 
act upon. And I would say that they should have 
every item of culture, every element of instruction, 
all the treasures of science and learning which we 
can possibly command. I hope there is no man here 
to-day who fears that learning will spoil our youth ! 
— who, poor father ! — 

(" The booby father claims a booby son " — ) 
trembles lest his child, by too much knowledge, 
should get harm, and hurt, and injury ! You may 
dismiss your fears ; learning only spoils fools, and 
pedants, and smatterers — the creatures who can easily 
pick up tools, but know not how to use them — who 
pride themselves more upon the show of tools than 
men of common sense upon the skilful handling of 
them. Your true scholar is not such. His learning 
is his instrument ; his knowledge is designed for good 
and useful ends, not for ornament and display ; and 
whether it be his treasures are from the languages, 
or the rich revealings of history, or skill in the 
sciences, or the beautiful creations of art ; in all he 
sees the great and plastic power of man for human 
well-being and human progress. 

With all this mental culture, let it be also remem- 
bered, that man has a body, is of a composite nature, 


has a physical existence, as well as a mind. Forget- 
f ulness of this fact has greatly injured the cause of 
learning. Men have idly supposed that to cultivate 
manhood was to cultivate the brain merely. True, 
cultivation of men is the bringing out, harmoniously, 
all their powers — mental, moral, and physical : hence 
we shall fail in our attempted cultivation of manhood 
here, if we do not raise up and train useful, practical 
men. Our youth must be trained to be active, and 
useful, and enterprising. For of what use, I ask, will 
they be to the heathen, with all their Latin and Greek, 
and science and history, if they come up into life and 
society with hands of baby softness, be-booted and 
be-strapped, be-mumed and be-scented — so delicate 
and gentlemanly that they cannot handle a hoe or 
wield an axe, if needed, and with no heart, if they be- 
come missionaries or commissioners, to build a hut in 
the " bush" or to cook, with their own delicate hands, 
a meal of victuals. Out upon such creatures, I say, 
in a land like this ! They are men-milliners, popin- 
jays, ladies-maids — or, as the poet paints them — 

" The flies of latter spring, 
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing, 
And weave their petty cells, and die." 

And these, too, are the men who bring learning 
and scholarship into ill-repute ; not true scholars in- 
deed, not men of erudition, not the men who, by close 
thought and laborious, painful study, seek the ground 
of things, but your dilettante students, your amateur 
scholars ! 

For never, in all the world's broad history, has 
such ill desert fallen upon learning through the 


character of those who, in very deed, were true 
scholars, whether from the schools or self-made men. 
For all the great generals, the founders of states, the 
rulers of immortal fame, the men who have inaugu- 
rated letters, and learning, and science in common- 
wealths and empires, the great authors, renowned 
teachers and philosophers, and immortal philanthro- 
pists — yea, all the names of might and power in his- 
tory, with the rarest, scarcest exceptions, have been 
ranked in the lofty scroll of scholars. " For," says 
Lord Bacon, " the conceit that learning should 
dispose men to leisure and' privateness, and make 
men slothful, it were a strange thing if that which 
accustometh the mind to perpetual motion and agita- 
tion should induce slothfulness, whereas, contrariwise, 
it may be truly affirmed, that no kind of men love 
business for itself but those who are learned ; for 
other persons love it for profit, as a hireling that loves 
work for the wages or for honor, . • . . or because 
it putteth them in mind of their fortune, &c, &c. 
Only learned men love business as an action accord- 
ing to nature, as agreeable to health of mind as exer- 
cise is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action 
itself and not in the purchase ; so that of all men 
they are the most indefatigable, if it be towards any 
business which can hold or detain their mind." * 

In prudence, with assiduousness, under a deep 
sense of responsibility to God, and man, and the 
state, may we all determine to use our influence, and 
to set the example, which may tend to cultivate men 
and manhood in our country. Let law and religion, 

* Lord Bacon, "Advancement of Learning," b. 1. 


learning and scholarship, pure speech, noble ideas, 
and sacred principles — the order and moral dignity 
of the family — man's moral strength, woman's win- 
ning beauty, her stainless purity, her exalted excel- 
lence and piety, — and the simplicity of youth, — let 
these be the agencies we use in forming and compact- 
ing the main and master instrument for the fulfil- 
ment of a nation's mission — its mind and manhood ! 

The results that will proceed from such high en- 
deavor are clear and certain. We shall raise up on 
these shores a race of men, a stock of mannood, and 
a growth of manners, which shall confuse and mystify 
all the past chronicles of time pertaining to our race. 
We shall falsify all the lying utterances of the specu- 
lative ethnographies and the pseudo-philosophies 
which have spawned from the press of modern days 
against us. And we shall bring about such an ex- 
pansion of mind and such a development of character, 
that the report thereof shall bring to our shores cu- 
rious travellers to behold here the mature outgrowth 
and the grateful vision of a manly, noble, and com- 
plete African nationality ! 

And now, having fit and capable men for the 
beneficent work of a nation, we may turn to other 
means and agencies by which it may work out its 
end and mission. One of these is commerce — perhaps 
the foremost. All men can see at a glance how one 
nation blesses another by the interchange of com- 
modities : for this is our experience, and in many 
ways our blessing. And were it not for trade and 
commerce, how sad and miserable would be the con- 
dition of vast masses of the human family — how 


civilization would be retarded — how slow would be 
the progress of brotherhood, humanity, and true re- 
ligion ! In the days previous to the use of the mag- 
net and the successful adventures of Columbus, when 
non-intercourse seemed the rule of the world, and 
heavy tariffs kept nations apart, then national strife 
almost universally prevailed, and the common tie 
of humanity seemed completely severed. Gradually, 
during the succeeding centuries, ships have multi- 
plied, tariffs and imposts have been relaxed, and now 
we have just commenced a new era in the world's 
history ; and " Free Trade" seems about inaugurat- 
ing, under the Divine Providence, a new evangel to 
men. And what already is the result? Why, in 
every land the masses of the population are being 
made more comfortable, and are becoming blessed. 
Take the single article of tea : there are persons here 
who have seen the time when tea was a luxury, and 
now it is a common staple in nearly every civilized 
land on the globe. Take sugar : why, even after the 
common use of tea, for a long time, sugar was used 
by few. And now the poorest laborer in England 
or Scotland, the backwoodsman far away in the 
western wilds of America, the emigrant on the coast 
of New Zealand, or here, on the shores of Africa, can 
daily at his meals enjoy the pleasurable exhilaration 
of the — 

" Cup which cheers, but not inebriates," 

made still more pleasurable by the sweets of the cane. 
Thus it is that commerce, providentially, has be- 
come a beneficent agency for the good of man. And 
thus it should be : what I mean by this is, not that 


this is a genial happening, or an adventitious good ; 
I mean more than this. I mean that there is duty 
and obligation on the part of nations thus, and in 
this manner, to contribute to the well-being of the 
human race. I want sugar ; I want tea ; I want cot- 
ton fabrics for my family ; I want utensils of metal 
for domestic use ; and the luxuries of foreign lands 
for pleasure and gratification. 

But the country in which I live cannot perhaps 
produce tea ; nor supply me with china for my table ; 
nor cotton fabrics for my wear ; nor the luxuries I 
have mentioned for my delight ; nor the articles for 
common need and convenience. 

But the Chinese and .the English, the Americans 
and the French, are able to supply me with these 
articles, for a proper remuneration. Moreover, these 
people cannot get oils, and dyes, and other articles we 
can command, which they need for constant use ; and 
therefore if they will supply our needs, we, in return, 
can give them what they seek and desire. 

What is duty in this case ? Why, most assuredly, 
that those foreigners are bound by duty to meet my 
wants, and I am equally bound to meet theirs. 

I say, without hesitation, that this is duty ; and 
God teaches this most clearly by his providence. 
When a nation or a number of nations refuse to do 
their commercial duties, one to the other, they are 
punished : the healthful life-blood of the body politic 
ceases its natural flow, and stagnation ensues, or 
progress and civilization are retarded, or the nation 
is either judicially smitten down at once, or a sudden 
check is given to its free and genial growth, and it 


stands before us " without fruit, twice dead, plucked 
up by the roots," * and yet at times with the seeming 
semblance of vitality. 

I cite no evidences ; for already in this address I 
have shown the suicidal and retributive nature of all 
selfish isolation — of all misanthropic exclusiveness ; 
and, at the same time, I have given the historic proof 
that there can be no national vitality or progress, 
without a community of thought and sentiment, and 
the interchange of products and commodities, between 
different countries. 

And from all this we may learn our duty. We 
have a genial clime, a most productive soil, a popula- 
tion not large, but of peculiar fitness to the capacity 
and the productions of the soil and to the demands 
of commerce. We grow here sugar and coffee ; the 
cane has a richness and endurance in this land, as is 
acknowledged, beyond that of Cuba or Louisiana ; 
and coffee here gives a larger yield to the tree, and 
for a longer period, than in most other countries. 
Other articles arrest our attention! Indigo, with a 
small capital, under the new French process of prep- 
aration, can be made to yield at least $400 per 
acre ; for Indigo brings, at Liverpool and New York, 
nigh three dollars per pound. The Cinnamon will 
grow here ; the experiment of its growth has just 
been proved successful at Cape Coast, and we should 
have larger groves of it. Flax and hemp are both 
of tropical growth — both in great demand in all the 
markets of the world, and lucrative in trade. You 
know the high value of cotton, and its great demand ; 

* Jude 12. 


you know also how important the production of this 
article has become in the decision of that great moral 
question of the age — the destruction of slavery ; 
and I need not pause here to show what a blessing 
we might become to our race and to the world, by 
the " disturbing element " of thousands of bales of 
cotton, competing with the oppressors of our race 
in the ports of Liverpool and Glasgow, and beating 
down their ill-gotten gains ! It grows all around us 
here, amid the huts, and villages, and the rice farms 
of our heathen neighbors, and by the use of bounties 
we can largely prompt its growth among them, as 
also by our own labor lead to its extensive and profit- 
able cultivation in our own fields. 

To the query put, " How can we as a nation bless 
mankind, and contribute to their well-being and civ- 
ilization ? " I answer, that our farmers, by their toil 
and energy, can lessen the needs of distant men, break 
down the barbarism of unrequited toil, and give 
cheer, by their production, to foreign lands. 

The annual demand for sugar, for coffee, for cot- 
ton, has never yet been fully met in any of their great 
markets. Within a few recent years, the East Indies, 
Algiers, Egypt, and the Fantees, below us on this 
coast, have been increasing the quantity of cotton 
sent to England ; while there has been no sensible 
diminution of the large masses shipped from America ; 
and yet to the " Board of Commerce " in Manchester 
there are few, if any, questions more puzzling than 
this — that is, " Whence they can secure new and 
larger supplies ? 

It is the 6ame with sugar : Cuba, India, Singa- 


pore, do not furnish a sufficient supply, and Louisiana 
is falling off. And you all know that there is a 
market everywhere for our coffee as soon as we are 
ready to meet the demand. And thus we see the 
ability God has given us to serve men in the broad 
field of the civilized world before us, and we should 
meet that duty at the earliest day that thrift and en- 
terprise will enable us. 

Another duty germane to this devolves upon us. 
There are plants, barks, dyes, and woods all around 
us, and still more in the interior, which the commer- 
cial and scientific world needs and asks for. The 
further we push into the interior, the more abun- 
dant and the more valuable do these gifts of nature 
become. Moreover, the learned and the Christian 
world want now, at once, if God so permits it, the 
solution of the great inner mysteries of this continent. 
To this end expeditions on all sides are investing 
the continent. Now we hear of one in the East, on 
the White Nile ; then of another, through Nubia, 
across the desert, to lake Tschad. Now they run up 
the Quorra, or some other branch of the Niger ; and 
again we hear of one from the Cape, by land, across 
to Zanzibar. 

Are we to have nothing to do in this great scru- 
tiny ? Look at the map of Africa ! See how all 
along this coast, from Goree downwards, travellers 
have furnished the geographical world With such an 
amount of information that it has been enabled to 
dot the map of Africa with the towns, and villages, 
and rivers, and marked localities of neighborhoods 
some hundreds of miles interiorwards ; but take our 


vicinage, with Monrovia for a centre, and you can 
make a semi-circle, its back circumference the Kong 
Mountains, its ends touching the coast, of nearly all 
which the scentific world knows nothing ! 

I am aware of our slender resources and our 
thinly-scattered population, and no wise man expects 
an infant to do a giant's work. But we can do some- 
thing. Let us systematically, year by year, push 
more and more into the country, if it be but ten, or 
even five miles a year ; open gradually a highway 
into the interior ; * look out the goodly land bejpnd 
us, " well watered everywhere as the garden of the 
Lord," f and appropriate it ; press onward a high- 
way for the tribes far back, nigh the mountains, to 
come unmolested hitherward by open roads ; and so 
by and by we may get large herds of cattle from 
the interior, and instead of sending some $60,000 or 
$100,000 out of the Republic for the single article 
of meats, we may have " our oxen around us strong 
to labor," and " our sheep may bring forth thousands 
and tens of thousands in our streets." % 

* This subject of roads is one of the most important that can be pon- 
dered and acted upon by the people of Liberia. Our independence of 
the foreign market, the cessation of our biennial and exhausting wars, 
the promotion of industrial habits among the natives, the opening of 
larger farms among ourselves, the wide promotion of civilization, and 
the extension of the gospel in the interior, are all connected with road- 
making. With regard to belligerent natives, no better plan could be 
adopted than that of obliging them to keep wide roads open wherever 
they live nigh our settlements; and whenever a war occurs they should 
be forced, as one of the terms of treaty, to open a road some thirty or 
forty miles into the heart of their country. Trade would then keep it 
open, and they cannot fight in an open country. 

f Gen. xiii. 10. \ Vs. cxliv. 13, 14. 


Of course, we could not do such a work as this in 
a brief period, but we could agree upon a system, and 
system seems the main thing in all great projects ; 
and such a system would give our merchants plen- 
teous hides from the interior for shipment ; vast 
quantities of oil, which would be their own, without 
foreign competition, as on the coast ; new discoveries 
of woods and dyes, and especially would it lead to 
the settling of civilized men in the interior, and the 
wide cultivation of great staples ; and all the while 
important revelations would come through us to the 
world, as we pressed further into the heart of the 
continent, of the tribes near the mountains of the 
Kong, if not, indeed, of the dwellers at the sources 
and along the valleys of the Xiger. 

And in this way we should be meeting the de- 
mands of science, aiding in the work of civilization, 
extending Christianity, and doing our work as a 
Christian state. 

But there are two great works which are our 
special duty and mission, and which we should never 
lose sight of : — 

First, We should be opening a highway for the 
gospel of Christ Jesus into the far interior, and there- 
by competing with the missionaries of England and 
America in the gracious rivalry as to who shall first 
reach the needy tribes living under the shadow of the 
Kong Mountains, and make more musical than ever, 
by the voice of salvation, the sweetly flowing streams 
from those mountains, which are, doubtless, the tiny 
sources of the Xiger. 

Next, A matter of highest import : by these in- 


ternal ventures we should be achieving the commer- 
cial independence of Libei'ia, or, at least, giving it 
mastery and might. 

I am no merchant, and I have in no way what- 
ever, a direct interest in the mercantile affairs of 
Liberia ; but as a citizen I do endeavor to study the 
best interests of our Commonwealth, and to scan 
closely all that affects her fortunes. 

We are all descendants of Africa, and hence we 
claim a special interest in, and a peculiar right to, 
her fruits, her offerings, and her gifts. But after all, 
how very limited is our participation therein ! I hear 
of ivory, and oils, and dyes, and precious woods, and 
gold ; flowing from all parts of this western coast to 
foreign lands, to enrich their princely merchants, and 
to build up their great houses. We all see here that 
fine line of steamers, which, according to her wont, 
shows that England knows how to appropriate with 
skill and effect the resources of foreign lands to 
her own good ; and we hear, likewise, of projected 
" Ebony lines," for the increase of foreign wealth and 
luxury. And to all this I have no objection what- 
ever, because it is the legitimate and the healthful 
process and result of commerce. 

It may be that such a one as I, — a man more 
busied with books, and papers, and sermons, than 
with ledgers, accounts, and prices current, — should 
not venture to speak upon these matters. But I 
must say, nevertheless, that I should like to see some 
of these great houses here ; and to recognize, as some 
of these princely merchants, the merchants of our 
own town and country, citizens of this Eepublic ! I 


am not satisfied, — I tell you the truth, — that the 
wealth of this, our Africa, should make other men 
wealthy and not ourselves. It troubles me in the 
night, and in the day it vexes me, that of all the 
moneys poured out here for fish, and meats, and 
shoes, and merchandise, so little stays at our own 

The policy which shall modify this state of things 
is not, I know, to be demanded altogether of the mer- 
chants. The whole country, by management and 
legislation, is to aid in bringing about this result. 
And it seems to me that, by increase of agricultural 
activity, by the opening of roads, by a more exten- 
sive system of farming, by a proper attention to our 
great tropical staples, we may at one and the same 
time iucrease the comfort and well-being of our com- 
munities in general, give importance to the agricul- 
tural interest of the land, assist that strong arm of 
the nation, mercantile enterprise, and thus aggrandize 
the country ! 

And now, before I close, allow me briefly to say, 
that, as a new Christian state, there is one moral good 
we can do the world : we can strive after a lofty style 
of government, and the lustration of law and order. 

I see the seeming vanity of such an aspiration. 
But I have neither time nor inclination to bestow 
thought upon what merely seems to be presumptuous, 
when I have a real truth and a possible reality to 

The world needs a higher type of true nationality 
than it now has : why should not we furnish it ? I 
know the wont to regard precedent in fashioning and 


compacting the fabric of government. And it is, to 
a great degree, a wise tendency ; for it is a perilous 
sea on which to embark, — that of nationality ; and 
all along its course one sees strewn, everywhere, the 
wrecks of nations. And, therefore, an infant state 
needs, and should seek light as 

" It goes sounding 
On its dim and perilous way." 

And this light comes, to a great degree, from the 
past, — the light of national experience. Hence we 
must read history, and the philosophy of history, and 
laws, and the genius and spirit of laws. But are we 
ever to be bound by these? Are they ever to hold 
the spirit, and the brain, and the healthful instincts 
of cultivated and civilized humanity, in this day of 
the world's high advancement, — hold them ever in 
check and close restraint ? Must we, in order to be 
a nation, imitate all the crudities and blunders which 
statesmanship has gravely handed down in history as 
rule and authority ? I trust not ; for no thoughtful 
man can look into the history of states without per- 
ceiving many national forms and established customs 
which even now have mastery, but which are nothing 
more nor less than empty gewgaws. I do not lack, 
by any means, reverence for the sage wisdom of 
ages ; neither do I despise the ancient forms of older 
states, which often are the clothes-garments of noble 
truths. But he must be blind who does not see that 
the formal precedents and the hollow forms which, 
for ages, have held and bound the souls of vast em- 
pires and mighty kingdoms, are now vanishing be- 


fore the clear brain and the cool common sense of 


"Even now we hear, with inward strife, 
A motion toiling in the gloom, — 
The spirit of the years to come 
Yearning to mix himself with life. 

" A slow developed strength awaits 

Completion in a painful school, — 
Phantoms of other forms of rule, 
Xew majesties of mighty states." 

"Why should we haste, with foolish, blind zeal, to 
pick up the chaff, and rust, arid offal, which wise na- 
tions are throwing away ? Why not seize upon their 
cautious, prudent eclecticism, now, in our masculine 
youth, instead of going the round of a stale, perhaps 
a foul, experience ? "Why not make ourselves a pre- 
cedent ? Why should we not profit by the centuries 
of governmental history, if even we should appear 
venturesome % 

" The noble soul by age grows lustier, 
Her appetite and her digestion mend ; 
"We cannot hope to feed and nourish her 
"With woman's milk and pap unto the end : 
Provide you manlier diet ! " 

If I mistake not, the great desideratum of the na- 
tions is, a rigid honesty ; a clear, straightforward rec- 
titude ; the absence of chicane, of guile, and cunning ; 
the cleaving the meshes of policies and heartless di- 
plomacy ; and the constant and happy consciousness 
of the ideas of God, of truth, and of duty. We see it 
now nowhere among the nations ; in some there is an 
approach, a desire, an aspiration, — so strong, in some 


cases, as to threaten great men, — and ancient houses, 
and aristocracies. But how sickening to read the 
memoirs of Prime Ministers and State Secretaries in 
times past, — ah ! and, alas ! to read them in our own 
day, at times, with our own open eyes ! 

How proud a thing for this young nation, if, from 
the start, she sends out the reputation that eschews 
all this ; that the simple instincts of morality, the 
plain dictates of honesty and honor, should be the 
rule of our governmental polity at home and abroad, 
and God our Governor ! 

For this the people are chiefly responsible ; for, in 
a representative government, the moral purity of the 
masses produces its reflex in their rulers ; and, there- 
fore, parents and guardians, and teachers and minis- 
ters, should endeavor to train the popular mind to 
right habits of thought, to just notions of government, 
and of citizenship, to high principles of self-respect, 
and to prompt instincts of obedience and subjection 
to rule. If, in the quiet walks of life, in the family, 
the workshop, and the school, we can but secure the 
true sentiments of honesty, sobriety, self-control, and 
manly dignity, conjoined with legal obedience, then 
we are safe ; for the influence thereof will ascend to 
the higher spheres of life with a controlling power, 
and we shall have a government here, the reflex of a 
pure, honest, healthful public sentiment, manifesting, 
in the arena of political life, the rigid honesty and the 
simple purity which characterize the dealings of plain, 
honest men. As a consequence, intrigue, corruption, 
subornation, could never find here sanction, vantage- 
ground, or undisturbed and settled rule. 


For this end we must turn our attention to public 
men and to public transactions, with a large open eye, 
and with a discriminating spirit ; otherwise, we can 
never reach the ideal of a high, noble commonwealth. 
And here we catch a glimpse of duty to governors. 
And here I would say, most seriously, that we, who 
are private citizens, should learn ourselves, and teach 
our children, to respect all constituted authority, to 
reverence the laws, and to fear our rulers. The fact 
that this is a republic, voids not the remembrance of 
the sacred "Word, that " the powers that be are 
ordained of God." * If, therefore, we would more 
and more approach ideal governmental superiority, — 
while, indeed, studying our rights, jealously watching 
the safeguards of liberty, in a free state like this, — we 
should always maintain a manly forbearance, and 
that generous balance of thought and inclination 
which eschews the blustering demagogueism, whose 
tendency is to make rulers insecure in their high 
places, and cause weak minds in authority to cater to 
public prejudice and passion. Rulers should never 
fear the people ; and it is the depth of meanness in a 
man, or a number of men, who would create a public 
sentiment, which would so relax rule and authority, 
that it should fall away to magisterial sycophancy 
and official mean-spiritedness. 

As the people, so also their rulers, are bound to 
give their free gifts for the high ends we have pointed 
out in civil government. And here two things stand 
out prominently, and can never be forgotten by rulers 
without treason to God and recreancy to the state. 

* Rom. xiii. 1. 


The first, that, if the just powers of government come 
from the people, so, also, do they come from God ; 
and, therefore, that in all legislation in a Christian 
state, the introduction, for any purpose of expediency, 
or in compliance with blind popular passion, of that 
which opposes morality and the Divine law, is obnox- 
ious to the Divine Governor, and must eventually 
bring down upon it the repugnance of thinking men. 
The ruler, therefore, who would give dignity to the 
governmental regimen of his country, must, like such 
a man as Sir Matthew Hale, remember that nations 
are governed by those bright statutes which are in- 
scribed, upon the broad bosom of Jehovah, as well as by 
the codes and constitutions of states. So, also, the other 
larger truth is to be remembered by rulers and offi- 
cers, and especially by those who take here, on earth, 
the " mimic seat " of " awful justice throned on high," 
— the truth, contained in the majestic words of Hook- 
er, — that " Of law there can be no less acknowledged 
than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the 
harmony of the world : all things in heaven and earth 
do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and 
the greatest as not exempted from her power. Both 
angels, and men, and creatures, of what condition so- 
ever, though each in different sort and manner, yet 
all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother 
of their peace and joy."* 

These remembrances on the part of people and 
rulers will ever give the check, on the one hand, to 
wild Radicalism, to which, as one of the trials of 
states, all Governments are called ; and, on the other, 

* Ec. Polity, B. a 


will protect us from the iron bond of tyranny forever. 
They are the conserving elements, the saline qualities 
— if I may so term them — which retain the healthful 
energies and the youthful life of nations. And, with- 
out these, the people, in a popular government, while 
retaining the forms of freedom, are nothing more than 
a band of idiots, shouting, with insane frenzy, around 
the cap of liberty ; and the rulers of such a people 
stand before men and the world pretenders, impostors, 
and shams ! 

May the might of manhood, the healthful, quick- 
ening, vital influences of honest commerce, and na- 
tional intercommunication, with the force of law and 
the Divine Providence, ever preserve this rising com- 
monwealth from these disastrous happenings and these 
deadly results. 

The aim and intent of the words I have spoken 
this day, fellow-citizens, have been, I trust, made clear 
and plain. I have endeavored to show that we, as a 
nation, ought to render our contribution of good and 
blessing to mankind ; and I have aimed to point out 
some of the means by which we may meet this duty. 
Two things, I think, may be seen through all this 
subject with clearness and distinctness, — that is, that 
energy and self-reliance are two prime, most impor- 
tant agencies in working out and fulfilling a nation's 
work and mission. For it is with the nation as with 
the man : when the materials are at hand, the indi- 
vidual must employ his own hands and use them. 
JSTo one else but himself can do it for the man, none 
else for the nation. All the instrumentalities for large 


development and a great national work are furnished 
us, as a new Christian state. We have soil, and sky, 
and bright heavens, and a luxuriant clime, and the 
broad, strong hands of hardy men, and civilization 
and histories, and the high inner instincts of true 
men, if we will but listen at times to our own hearts, 
and also the sight of numerous nationalities. These 
are the materials Providence has placed within our 
reach. Now, what we have to do is to show a quick, 
keen brain, and strong practicalness. "We should 
throw ourselves, under God, upon our own powers 
and our own abilities. No other people are to come 
here and work for us ; we have got to work for our- 
selves. And it is only by clearly, wisely, seeing this, 
that we shall be able to secure to ourselves the appli- 
ances of high culture, the fruits of hardy effort, the 
gifts of science and of art, the happiness of superior 
men, the respect and confidence of mankind, and the 
Divine benignity. 

For now it comes about in the world's civilization 
that help, aid, support, are words that have a low sig- 
nificance. The Christianity of 2,000 years has not 
educated the world up to consideration for the weak, 
nor respect for the lowly and the feeble. That is to 
be left for a higher stage of human culture and the 
golden age beyond. The civility of the world has 
still a pagan element ; it loves hardihood, robustness, 
strength, and mightiness. Even in its moods of be- 
nevolence, and in its fits of charity, it shows this pe- 
culiarity. The Christian merchants of London or 
New York dole out a partial, limited liberality to aid 
the heathen ; they send golden masses of capital to 


the strong and enterprising young nations of Ameri- 
ca and Europe, where they see activity and growing 
wealth. And thus, simply by the world's mercantile 
polity, we can see that 

" To be weak is to be miserable." 
I do not blame the Christian world, — I merely point 
out the significance of a fact. For the truth thus re- 
vealed is, that nothing but earnestness, reality, and 
vigorous manly effort, can gain for us respect, con- 
sideration, and the available resources of a thriving 
nation. The world, in these our days, can waste no 
thought upon mendicity, nor ragged, imbecile beg- 
garism. It looks for work ; and when it sees that, it 
graciously pauses and bestows a smile. And so 
powerful, so deep-seated, is this idea and word in the 
mind of the age, that it is not confined to mere con- 
templation ; it makes the wide atmosphere of the 
universe resound with it. 

For the land, everywhere, in the bounds of civili- 
zation, echoes and re-echoes with it ; and ocean winds 
are vocal with its utterance on every side, from steam- 
boats and clippers, and ships, and the fleets of com- 
merce, and the spreading wings of trade. Yea, the 
civilized world now rises up with an irresistible au- 
dacity and demands, " "What right have you to live, 
ye lethargic do-nothings ? And then, in its own bold, 
free utterance, declares, " "We respect nought but the 
productive agencies of time." 

Into our listening ears come these clear, audible 
words, on this natal day of our country : " The pro- 
ductive agencies of time, and they only, get respect, 
and notice, and advantage ; all the rest is odious beg- 


garism and contempt." If we wish to rise as a nation, 
and to be felt as an influencing agency in the world, 
we must make the ideas of labor and achievement 
master ideas in our communities, and cause the prin- 
ciples of self-reliance and manly energy to become vi- 
tal and energetic in our midst. 

And surely no man here need search for incentive 
to all this. Here, all around and beyond us, on every 
side, in ourselves and children, are spur, and stimu- 
lus, and high incitement, to every noble work and 
lofty desire that lias circled the brain of the greatest 
men earth ever saw in all her histories. This ocean, 
in majesty and magnificence, seems inviting argo- 
sies of sail from our ports and harbors, laden with 
tropical products for foreign lands. This vast and 
wild Africa, to indefinite depths, seems now yearn- 
ing to throw off the forest, the jungle, and the bush, 
and to open a pathway for the spade, the hoe, the 
plough, and the scythe ; so that all the world, ere the 
coming of its last days, may delight itself with its 
prolific fulness and its vast and inexhaustible riches. 
Tribe after tribe, far inward, through marsh, over 
mountain, down beyond the broad valleys, clear off 
to the large central lakes of the continent, start up, 
and seem listening to the faint music of the distant 
Gospel sweetly sounding on this coast, and crave its 
blessings and its gifts. The vast rivers and the 
broad streams, struggling for centuries with the tan- 
gled roots, the giant trunks, and the broken branches 
of the falling forest, would fain burst forth from 
all their hindrances, and marry themselves a thou- 
sand times over to the graceful forms of ships and 

100 THE DUTY 0F A 

steamers, which never yet, with gliding keel, have 
kissed their golden faces, nor ever embraced their 
sweet and liquid forms. 

To make all this reality, seems the plain dnty 
and the manifest destiny of Lzbekia. This is our 
work, and we must do it or must die. For when 
God gives a man, or a number of men, — a nation, 
place, circumstance, opportunity, advantage, and 
appliance, with 

" Ample room and verge enough," 
thereunto added, for a great and noble work ; such as 
the deliverance of a people, or the freedom of a race, 
or the laying the foundations of a new state, or the 
building up of a great commonwealth, or the develop- 
ment of civilization in a new sphere, or introducing 
the kingdom of Christ into very domain of Satan ; 
and they have neither sight to see, nor judgment to 
gauge, nor brains to understand, nor hardihood of 
soul to endure and to achieve, nor manly honor to 
meet their duty and to fulfil their work and mission ; 
then the avenging angel of God stands in the way of 
such a people, and Jehovah's glittering sword cuts 
the cumberers down to the ground. 

There are some fears ; but far more and higher are 
the hopes, that such blindness to duty, and such fear- 
fulness of penalty, will never fall upon this nation ; 
for nigh at hand, and within our reach, are keen and 
quickening incentives, and the instruments that are 
mighty and commanding. Our religion is the Chris- 
tian religion, — Protestant, God be praised, in its 
main characteristics ; and it is harmonious, in all its 
utterances, as the music of the spheres. Our civiliza- 


tion, in its elements, is that of the world's Christen- 
dom ; and it springs upward, in all its legitimate ten- 
dencies, unerringly as the rustling pinions of a return- 
ing angel to the skies. Our language is that of the 
foremost men of all the earth ; and it makes as our in- 
heritance, although of other blood and race than 
theirs, the large common sense, the strong practical- 
ness, the pure and lofty morals, the genuine philan- 
thropy, the noble wisdom, and all the treasures of 
thought and genius, with which England has blessed 
the world : — 

" We speak the language 

Shakspeare spake ; the faith and morals hold 

Which Milton held!" 

The workings of our political institutions here, and 
the movements of society, may, and must be, made 
to be, as exact and as beautiful as the ways of nature, 
if we retain hearts and wills in unison with that 
Oxe great heart and will which equally guides a 
planet and starts the pulsations of our veins. If God 
gives us strength, we will employ the great aids and 
the noble availabilities granted us, for a larger de- 
velopment of manhood, a fine expression of rule and 
government, and for the Divine glory. And then, 
with the Divine benignity resting upon us, with high 
aims and pure intents prompting our life and being, 
we shall be enabled to manifest here human duty, the 
loftiest ways of manhood, worthy character and true 
Christian excellence, — all mingled with, and con- 
trolled by, law and noble government. 

And so, from this point boldly jutting out into the 
glad free sea, — this spot, dedicated to nationality, 


consecrated to freedom, and sacred to religion, — from 
this spot shall be heard, through all the coming times, 
the full, clear tones of justice, the grateful symphonies 
of truth, the silvery voices of piety and virtue, min- 
gling ever harmoniously with the choral echoes of 
the ocean ! 



Delivered in St. Peter's Church, Salem, Mass. ; Grace Church, Provi- 
dence, R. I. ; St. James's, Bristol, R. I. ; Church of the Epiphany, 
Philadelphia ; Christ Church, Hartford, Conn. ; Christ Church, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., <£r., <Jtc. } during the year 1861. 

" The ways of Providence are not confined -within narrow limits ; he 
hurries not himself to display to-day the consequences of the principle 
that he yesterday laid down ; he will draw it out in the lapse of ages 
when the hour is come." — Guizot's " General History of Civilization" 
Lecture I. 

4 ' Is it not apparent that civilization is the main fact, the general and 
definite fact, in which all others terminate, and are included ? * * * * 
This is so true, that, with respect to facts, which are from their nature 
detestable, disastrous, a painful weight upon nations, as despotism and 
anarchy, for example, if they have contributed in some degree to civili- 
zation, if they have given it a considerable impetus, up to a certain point 
we excuse and pardon their injuries and their evil nature ; insomuch, 
that wherever we discover civilization, and the facts which have tended 
to enrich it, we are tempted to forget the price it has cost." — Guizot's 
General History of Civilization" Lecture I. 

11 In all things, Providence, to accomplish its designs, lavishes cour- 
age, virtues, sacrifices man himself!" — Guizot's General History of 
Civilization" Lecture VII. 


Tiiree hundred years of misery have made "West 
Africa the synonyme of every thing painful and hor- 
rible. So generally, nay, so universally, has this 
been the case, that it is difficult for us to connect 
ideas grateful and gracious with even any part of that 
continent. It seems to have an enstamped character 
which cannot admit of mitigating lights or relieving 
shades. Fact, and incident, and memory, and imagi- 
nation, all serve but to breed suggestions that are dis- 
tressful and agonizing. 

The principle of association, moreover, is so tena- 
cious and persistent a faculty that it is almost impossi- 
ble, at times, to turn it from the channels in which it 
has been wont to flow, for generations or for ages. 
And the story of anguish, and rapine, and murder, 
which is the story of Africa for 300 years, — which 
has been so prolonged that it has seemed to be d 
ny • which has been so aggravated and intense that it 

has seemed to be organic^ — it seems almost impossible 


to change this story into a cheering episode of bless- 
edness and mercy. 

It is not so, however. The great poet of our lan- 
guage tells us that 

" The night is long that never sees the day." 
Still more pertinent to my subject is the declaration 
of the Psalmist, " Though ye have lain among the 
pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered 
with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." A 
contrast as broad, and marked, and gracious as this, 
is now manifesting itself through the vast extents of 
that continent, and I desire to use my opportunity to 
set before you a few of its prominent characteristics. 

Doubtless all intelligent persons have contemplat- 
ed the fact of the long-continued and unbroken be- 
nightedness of the continent of Africa ; but perhaps 
they have not had their attention called to the recent 
transitional state into which that continent is passing, 
on the way to enlightenment and salvation. 

The facts pertaining to this subject are so distinct, 
so prominent, and so interesting, that I may be par- 
doned if I pause here, for a few moments, and en- 
deavor to present them more minutely. 

1. And here, first of all, we have to observe the 
sad and startling fact, that mental and moral benight- 
edness has enshrouded the whole of the vast continent 
of Africa, through all the periods of time, far back 
to the earliest records of history. We know that 
since the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, although 
both civilization and Christianity have streamed out, 
with the Gospel, from the Holy Land, through all 
Europe, to various parts of Asia, across the Atlantic 


to America, and, at length, from both Europe and 
America, to the islands of the sea ; yet Africa has re- 
mained, during the whole of the Christian era, almost 
entirely unvisited by the benignant rays, and the 
genial influences of our Holy Faith, 

And then, standing at the very start of the Chris- 
tian era, if we strive to penetrate the long lapse of 
ages, which anticipated the coming of the Lord, we 
meet vista upon vista of the deepest darkness, stretch- 
ing out to the earliest dawn of the world's being. So 
far as Western Africa is concerned, there is no history. 
The long, long centuries of human existence, there, 
give us no intelligent disclosures. " Darkness cov- 
ered the land, and gross darkness the people." 

And, indeed, if you will examine the case, you will 
find no cause for wonder at this universal prevalence 
of benightedness through all Africa. I know, indeed, 
that the fact is often contrasted with the advance of 
both Europe and Asia in enlightenment ; and the in- 
ference drawn, that is, of negro inferiority, as the cause 
of the seeming organic wretchedness of that vast con- 
tinent. But you will remember that the civilization 
of all races has been conditioned on, contact. It is 
the remark of a great German historian — perhaps the 
greatest historian of modern times : " There is not in 
history the record of a single indigenous civilization ; 
there is nowhere, in any reliable document, the report 
of any people lifting themselves up out of barbarism. 
The historic civilizations are all exotic. The torches 
that blaze along the line of centuries were kindled, 
each by the one behind."* 

* Niebuhr. 


"Where peoples and nations have been so situated 
that they could be touched by influence and power, 
there men have gone upward and onward. And this 
accounts for the fact that newly-discovered islands in 
the seas have almost always been found low, degrad- 
ed, and bestial ; while, on the other hand, the peoples 
and races living on continents, generally exhibit the 
evidences of progress and improvement. But so far 
as contact with the elements of civilization is con- 
cerned, so far as the possibility of being touched by 
the mental and moral influences of superior and ele- 
vating forces is implied, Africa might as well have 
been an island as a continent. The Desert of Sahara 
has served as effectually to cut off Africa from the 
ancient civilizations, as the ocean, for long centuries, 
separated the Sandwich Islands from the world's en- 
lightenment. Here is the solvement of Africa's be- 
nightedness. Physical causes have divorced her from 
the world's cultivation and improvement. A great 
ocean of sand has shut her off from that law of both 
national and individual growth, namely, that culture 
and enlightenment have got to be brought to all new 
peoples, and made indigenous among them. 

Thrown thus back upon herself, un visited by either 
the mission of letters, or of grace, poor Africa, all the 
ages through, has been generating, and then repro- 
ducing, the whole brood and progeny of superstitions, 
idolatries, and paganisms, through all her quarters. 
And hence the most pitiful, the most abject of all 
human conditions ! And hence the most sorrowful of 
all histories ! The most miserable, even now, of all 
spectacles ! 


2. But, as I have remarked, the Christian and 
civilized world, within a more recent period, has be- 
come both assured and hopeful by the fact of an evi- 
dent transitional state, in Africa, from her night and 
gloom, to blessedness and glory. The long night of 
her darkness and misery has been broken in upon, 
during a little more than a half century, by the open- 
ing light of a brighter day of blessedness. Among 
the several causes which have contributed to these 
hopes for Africa, have been the following : — 

First among these, was the Abolition of the slave- 
trade, by this country, and then by the leading 
powers of Europe. Auxiliary to this was the noble 
effort to rescue the numerous victims of this murder- 
ous traffic, by the active fleets, sent by generous na- 
tions, on this errand of humanity. Merciful feeling, 
and humane effort for Africa, served to interest the 
Christian world in her interests and her well-being. 
Just in proportion as the nations were prompted to 
heal the wounds of this afflicted continent, just so 
have they been scattering darkness from her agonized 
brow, and hastening the day of her final relief and re- 

But secondly, in addition to these distinctive phil- 
anthropic efforts, I must needs mention here the 
earnest missionary endeavors which, within the last 
70 years, have helped to change to hopefulness the 
condition of Africa. These streams of saving influ- 
ence have flowed out from every powerful Protestant 
State in the world. The whole world's enlightened 
and reformed religion, has striven for the regeneration 
of Africa. Missionaries have gone thither from E 


land and Germany, from America and France, from 
Switzerland and Holland. Their stations are scat- 
tered all along the coast of Africa, from the south 
border of the desert to the Cape of Good Hope. 

3. I have described all this as transitional — but it 
is more than this. The transitional aspects were con- 
fined to a preceding period of some 40 or 50 years, 
dating from about 1790 ; but these have now passed 
away. The remedial, the regenerative state of the 
Kegro race and the continent of Africa, has now as- 
sumed a positive form, and reached a normal, and in 
some spots, an organic state ; with both Christian 
and civilizing features. And these forms of fixed, 
and abiding, civilization are growing stronger and 
stronger every day, and taking deeper and deeper 
root. And there is an almost certain prospect, that 
a yet more thorough and radical growth will be 
theirs ; as year by year, the work of grace, and the 
power of government and civilization go on, in the 
divers settlements of western Africa. All the auxil- 
iaries fitted to these ends are now in use there, under 
the control of a most favoring providence. I beg to 
present here, in detail, these formative and creative 
agencies, (a) First of all there is the beneficent opera- 
tion of legitimate Commerce. For nigh 3 centuries, 
commerce, on the coast of Africa, was divested of 
every feature, humane, generous, and gracious. 
Commerce then was a robber ; commerce was a 
marauder ; commerce was a devastator ; a thief ; a 
murderer ! But commerce, now, under the benefi- 
cent influence of Christianity, has become the hand- 
maid of religion ; and all along the coast of Africa 


she aids in the development of the resources of that 
continent ; and conveys to its rude inhabitants the 
aids and instruments to civilization, to active indus- 
try, to domestic comfort, and to a budding social re- 
finement. "Without attempting any elaborate verifi- 
cation of these general statements, relative to West 
African commerce ; I will merely present a few 
items which will show the progressive expansion and 
the real importance of African trade. I shall merely 
speak of two prime articles of that trade, namely 
Cotton and Palm Oil. 

(1) Cotton. It is not very generally known that 
West Africa, that is, that section of the continent of 
Africa which is called Negroland f is a vast cotton 
growing country. The cotton that is grown there is 
manufactured on simple native looms, into cotton 
cloths ; and these cloths enter into an extensive home 
barter, as also into the foreign trade, for the supply 
of the Brazilian slaves. Upwards of 200,000 of these 
manufactured cloths, weighing on the average 2 J lbs. 
apiece, pass out of the port of Lagos. Their value 
is stated by Mr. Consul Campbell, late consul at 
Lagos, at £250,000. 

About 30,000 find their way from the interior to 
Monrovia, and the other ports of Liberia A like 
number are brought and sold at Therbro. 

The fact of this great growth of cotton in inte- 
rior Africa, has not escaped the anxious eye of com- 
merce ; and within a few years efforts have been 
made by English houses, through missionaries and 
traders, to secure the raw material. The signal suc- 
cess of this movement is seen in the Abbeokutan 


country ; where, from an exportation, 8 years ago, 
of about 235 lbs. of raw cotton, it has been increased 
to 3,447 bales, for the year 1859. 

(2) Palm Oil. In 1808 the quantity of Palm oil, 
imported into England, was only .200 tons. " The 
quantity that reached Great Britain during the year 
1860 was 804,326 cwt." The estimate of the annual 
amount, from the whole of West Africa, is 60,000 

This exposition of trade you will observe, has ref- 
erence to but two articles. Its real importance would 
be greatly exaggerated, if I could give you the items 
which pertain to the trade in other oils beside the 
Palm : in Ivory, of which 3,000 cwt. are annually ex- 
ported ; in Teak, Ebony, and Camwood, and in Gum- 

(3) I venture, however, to call attention to one 
more commercial fact, which will serve to show the 
growing value of this "West African trade. In a re- 
cent number of the " African Times," published in 
London, I see that " the value of the exports of British 
produce and manufactures to British possessions on 
the west coast of Africa, has advanced from £263,725 
in 1858 to £340,311 in I860,"— that is, they have in- 
creased in value nigh $400,000 in two years. 

I add here that such is the increasing value of the 
trade that the English steam-line on the "West coast, 
earned the latter part of 1861 a dividend of 7 per 
cent., in addition to §10,000, which was laid aside as 
a sinking fund. 

(b) JSext to this, I may mention the active spirit 
of travel and inquiry which marks the age. Adven- 


turous spirits are starting off from every civilized 
land for Africa ; anxious to dissipate the spell, which 
for centuries has divorced her crowded populations 
from the world's brotherhood and enlightenment ; and 
eager to guarantee them the advantages of culture, 
which, during the ages, has raised them from rude- 
ness and degradation, and carried them up to the 
heights of grace and refinement. 

Fifty years ago Africa was but little better known 
than it was in the days of Herodotus. Even the ad- 
ventures of Bruce were regarded as splendid fictions ; 
and he himself was often refused the courtesies due 
of society, from the supposed mendacity of his narra- 
tive. But the travels of Park and Clapperton, of 
Ledyard and the Landers, of Richardson and J3arth, 
of Kraft and Livingston ; have rectified the geo- 
graphical errors which existed concerning the Nile 
and its several branches ; have unfolded to the greedy 
gaze of commerce a vast interior route for trade and 
barter, by the river Niger, more than rivalling your 
own Mississippi, in its tropical richness and untouched 
luxuriant resources ; — have modified the degrading 
prejudices concerning the negro, by contrasting him 
as free, dignified, powerful, and ingenious, in his na- 
tive superiority, with the miserable caricature of him, 
shorn of his manhood, ludicrous, and benighted, in 
chains and slavery ; and have led to the discovery of 
superior peoples, mighty nations, vast kingdoms, and 
populous cities with from 50 to 100,000 inhabitants in 
the interior, subject to law and authority, given to 
enterprise, and engaged in manufactures, agriculture, 
and extensive commerce. 


And thus, by these adventures, vast millions of 
that continent have been brought into contact with 
civilized men ; with the fabrics of civilized nations ; 
with the quickening ideas of superior men ; and the 
whole continent itself, save a slight belt on either side 
of the Equator, has been opened to the scrutiny of 
travellers ; and even this has been recently trenched 
upon by Burton and Speke in the East, directly upon 
the Equator. 

(c.) Another effective agency now in use in "West 
Africa for a permanent work of regeneration, is the 
missions and missionary schools scattered along some 
2,000 miles and more of that coast, and which are 
giving, mostly, English instruction to many thousands 
of native African children. These mission stations 
are those of the Church of England and the Wesley- 
ans, both north and south of Liberia ; and which form 
a complete cordon of spiritual posts from about the 
fifteenth degree of north latitude to Liberia ; and from 
the southern limits of Liberia to ten degrees of south 
latitude. The most northern mission station is that 
of Gambia. • 

Here the English Church and the "Wesleyans have 
important stations, with several ministers and cate- 
chists ; stations on the coast, and interior stations 
some 600 miles up the river Gambia. 

About 400 miles lower down the coast, the Eng- 
lish Church commenced, in 1856, a mission on the 
Pongas River, among both pagans and Mohamme- 
dans ; which has had such real success that it may 
now be regarded as established. 

At about the eighth degree of north latitude is the 


great missionary stronghold Sierra Leone. The Eng- 
lish Church here has a Bishop, and the Church Mis- 
sionary Society of England conduct, from that point, 
their extensive operations in "Western Africa. Be- 
tween 30 and 40 clergymen, the majority of whom 
are native-horn Africans, and upwards of 60 lay 
agents, are employed in their different stations, 
whether at Sierra Leone, or Lagos, or Abbeokuta, or 
on the Is iger. 

In Freetown, the capital, is a cathedral, and all 
through the colony are numerous, capacious stone 
churches and chapels. Two high schools, in connec- 
tion with the Church of England, are in existence, 
one in Freetown and the other at Lagos, where, be- 
sides the ordinary branches of education, instruction 
ia also given in elementary mathematics, and in Latin 
and Greek. 

Upwards of 20 common schools are connected 
with their stations. Over 5,000 are on the roll of 
their churches. Upwards of 20 native young men, 
natives of the land, are being prepared, some while in 
active duty, for Holy Orders. 

At a recent ordination the Bishop of Sierra Leone 
ordained, at one ordination, 12 or 14 deacons. 

The importance of the great missionary station 
may be gathered from the fact that Sierra Leone has 
already become the mother of missions ; for from this 
place have gone out the teachers and catechists, the 
fanners and traders, the missionaries and civilizers, — 
men of the negro race, — who have already introduced 
both the Gospel and civilized institutions at Lagos, 
made Abbeokuta a stronghold of missions, and 


churches, yea, and have carried schools and the Gos- 
pel to Kabba, 400 miles np the Niger. 

This representation of the missionary character of 
Sierra Leone is incomplete, without a reference to the 
labors of the Wesleyans and the Lady Huntington 
connection ; which two bodies maintain many minis- 
ters and catechists, have built several chapels, and 
have succeeded in converting to the faith near as 
large a body of members as the Church of England. 

The Wesleyans have 19 missionaries and assist- 
ants in all their stations, including Sierra Leone, La- 
gos, Abbeokuta, &c. ; about 300 lay agents, 54 
chapels, 45 day schools, and near 9,000 church mem- 

At the distance of about 60 miles below Sierra 
Leone the American Missionary Association have im- 
portant stations, in the Mendi country, which have 
already been fruitful in converts, have tended to the 
suppression of native wars, have prompted native 
industry, and have originated an active commercial 
spirit. Some idea of the extent of their operations 
may be gathered from the fact, that the expenditure 
for the Mendi mission for 1861 amounted to §16,000. 

Lower down the coast, that is, from Sierra Leone 
to lat. 4°, is the territory of Liberia, where Ameri- 
can Christians — Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians 
and Episcopalians — have been maintaining their mis- 
sions nigh 40 years, both among natives and colo- 

The result of these efforts is, that the Methodist, 
the leading denomination of Christians, is now organ- 
ized as a national church, with a bishop, a colored 


citizen, and IS preachers, members of conference, 
and several local preachers ; 10 week-day schools are 
maintained, for both natives and colonists ; and two 
High Schools are in operation, where classical educa- 
tion is given to both boys and girls. This body of 
Christians has several missionary stations among the 
heathen ; several native preachers, and has 32 native 
boys, who are placed in equal numbers in the families 
of its ministers " for instruction in letters and in home 
and industrial affairs." 

The Presbyterian body is formed into a synod, 
with some 8 or 10 ministers. It maintains some 4 or 
5 mission stations among the heathen ; but is spe- 
cially noted for the most important educational estab- 
lishment in the Republic — The Alexander High 
School, in Monrovia ; where a number of youth have 
received a superior education ; and now some of them 
are holding most responsible positions in the govern- 
ment, as well as in the churches, and in mercantile 

The Baptists have some 12 chapels and ministers ; 
and a large membership throughout the Republic. 
In Monrovia they maintain an important High 
School, where both boys and girls receive a good and 
thorough English education, with mathematical train- 
ing. They are united in a Conference, which meets 
annually in different parts of the Republic. 

The Episcopalians are a missionary body, under 
the direction of the Board of Missions of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal Church of the United States. 

The following will exhibit the agency and the 
work of this Mission : — 


Missionaries, Foreign, (including the Bishop,) 3 

i Total 10 

" Colonist, 6 ; Native, 1 . . . 

Assistant Missionaries : 1 Physician, (colored,) 3 "White 

Ladies, 11 Colonist, 19 Native 34 

Candidates for orders : Colonist, 3 ; Native, 3 6 

Confirmations : Colonist, 53 ; Native, 21 74 

Communicants (returns imperfect) : Colonist, 175; Native, 

143 ; Foreign, 14 ; total 332 

Scholars : Colonist Boarding, 45 ; Day, 223 ) gQg 

" Native, " 130; " 208 J 

1 High School. 

In connection with the Mission are 6 organized Colonist con- 
gregations, six principal Native stations, and seven out-stations. 

The gospel is preached with more or less regularity, t.o over 
100,000 people. 

(d) Another most powerful auxiliary to the work 
of African regeneration, is the formation of impor- 
tant Christian colonies on that coast. The history 
and the importance of these germs of civilization, on 
the African coast, are but little known in this coun- 
try. Let me dwell upon this particular item for a 
few moments. 

The traveller sailing down the coast of Africa, and 
visiting its various settlements, meets, first of all, 
with the French settlement of Goree, and then with 
a few Portuguese ports in the same neighborhood, 
that is, from the 14th to the 17th degree of north lati- 
tude ; but after that, Anglo-Saxon authority, whether 
English or American, sways the coast for nigh 2,000 

The English colony of Gambia is the next point 
of importance. This settlement comprises a well- 
built town on the coast, with schools, good churches 
and chapels, and several ambitious European houses ; 


and another colony, several hundred miles up the 
Gambia river, in the interior, at McCarthy's island ; 
which is reached by steamers and large sailing vessels, 
and which yields an important trade. A day's sail 
brings the traveller to Sierra Leone, the capital of 
West Africa, the settlement of recaptured Africans, 
with a population of over 60,000 inhabitants : its 
chief town, Freetown, with over 20,000 inhabitants 
— a capacious city, with numerous fine and even ele- 
gant houses ; with a cathedral and many stone 
churches ; large shipping, many merchants, and con- 
siderable wealth. Here is the Governor's residence, 
a substantial and capacious building ; and here is to 
be seen, on an elevated site, the barracks for the sev- 
eral regiments of native African troops enrolled in 
the British army. 

Just below Sierra Leone is the Republic of Li- 
beria, founded by the American Colonization So- 
ciety, with great sacrifice of precious life, and by 
the expenditure of large means and treasure. I can- 
not enter into minute statements concerning this 
young nation. But I beg to say that here is what 
I claim to be a most singular and striking phe- 
nomenon ; of 15,000 simple and unlettered men, 
descendants of slaves, exiles from hereditary wrong 
and oppression, who, with, indeed, the aid of a 
large Christian philanthropy, have swept the slave- 
trade from TOO miles of the coast ; have assimi- 
lated nigh 20,000 native Africans to them, to their 
own civilization and religion; have brought into 
the Christian faith, by baptism, several hnndi 
of their neighboring heathen ; have built some 20 


different towns and settlements, with brick, and 
stone, and frame dwellings ; have cleared thou- 
sands of acres of lands, and are exporting, as the 
produce thereof, sugar and coffee to foreign lands ; 
whose merchants are the owners of 40 vessels, en- 
gaged in commerce, manned and officered by their 
own citizens ; and who have demonstrated their 
moral strength and the political capacity of the 
nation, by the reception in less than 18 months — and 
that without any disturbance, without any disorgan- 
ization, but by the turning it into an element of 
strength and advantage — by the reception, into the 
bosom of the State, of 5,000 heathen captives rescued, 
in nakedness and barbarism, by the cruisers of your 
own nation, from cruel slavers ! I do not think I can 
exaggerate the importance of the Republic of Liberia. 
There are two or three facts of special importance, 
which I feel I cannot do otherwise than present in 
bold relief. One of these is, the fact that this little 
nation, of only 15,000 civilized black Americans has, 
during some 20 or 30 years, held under control nigh 
a half a million of bold and warlike heathen, and 
completely interdicted their participation in the slave- 
trade. Second, that although Liberia is one of the. 
smallest of West African colonies, and its settlements 
are scattered along some 600 miles of coast ; yet we 
are the only manufacturers of sugar and of. bricks ; 
we are the only ones who have saw-mills, and cut 
large quantities of lumber. And we present the sin- 
gular fact, that is, that although we are the least of 
all the colonies on the coast in numbers ; yet from 
the borders of the desert, to the Cape of Good Hope, 


Liberia is the only settlement which can meet de- 
mands for sugar, bricks, and lumber ; and we can 
humbly claim, that for nigh 4,000 miles on that coast, 
we arc the foremost of all people in enterprise, and 
that we own more vessels than all the sons of Africa, 
in all their settlements, along the whole line of the 

And now, through the munificence of citizens of 
Massachusetts and other states, a College has been 
given to the Republic of Liberia ; the college building, 
nobly situated on the heights of Montserrada, can be 
seen far distant on the ocean. The establishment of 
college forms an epoch, not only in the history 
of Liberia, but also of West Africa ; for already 
numbers of African children, the sons of native chiefs, 
and kings, and merchants, are sent to England and 
Scotland for education. I have myself seen 12 native 
African children in one school in England ; and I 
have no doubt that at the present time there are 
fully 50 or GO of such children in British schools : 
but alas, many die from the severity of the climate. 
The favorable position of Liberia College will, I have 
no doubt, give us advantage in this respect ; and ere 
long, numbers of these children, from beyond our 
territory, as well as within, will be sent to us for 
instruction : and thus from Liberia, as a fountain- 
head, shall flow culture, learning, science, and en- 
lightenment to many of the tribes of Africa, all along 
the coast, and up its rivers, to its most distant inland 
quarters ! 

Below the Republic of Liberia are the several 
forts, settlements, and colonics of the English; lying 


some two or three hundred miles apart ; namely, Cape 
Coast Castle, Accra, Badagy, and the important town 
of Lagos, which bids fair to be the Xew York of 
"West Africa. At all these places the English have 
chaplains ; missions are planted by the Church of 
England and the Wesley an s ; schools are sustained, 
and the whole work of evangelization is vigorously 

I close this part of my subject with this brief 
summary of the results of labor, on the West coast 
of Africa, during the last- 40 or 50 years ; the sev- 
eral items of which I have gathered from divers 

Over 150 churches have been erected ; nearly 200 
schools are in operation ; 20,000 children have been 
instructed in English ; nigh 20,000 baptized persons 
are members of different bodies of Christians ; 25 
dialects have been reduced to writing ; between 60 
and 70 settlements have been formed — the centres 
of civilization, English-speaking our tongue, with 
schools, and churches, agricultural operations, and 

The facts I have stated serve to bring before us a 
few marked principles and conclusions : 

1. The whole of Negroland seems, without doubt, 
to be given up to the English language, and hence to 
the influence of Anglo-Saxon life and civilization. 
It is a most singular providence that that very 
people, who have most largely participated in the 
slave-trade, should have been brought, by the power 
of God's dealings, and in the workings of His plans, 
to bear the weighty burden of lifting up this large 


section of humanity to manhood, and of illuminating 
them with Christian light and knowledge. Does 
any one here doubt this providence ? Do any of 
you question the obligation ? Just look then at 
that large portion of Africa which is bounded on 
the north by the desert, on the west and south by 
the Atlantic, and on the east by the river Niger ; 
that immense territory which probably contains a 
population of from 30 to 50,000,000 of people, 
and which has been the seat of the slave-trade nigh 
three centuries ; and then notice the other fact, that 
almost the only forts, settlements, colonies, and mis- 
sions, along the whole line of its coast, are English- 
speaking, namely Gambia, Pongas, Sierra Leone, 
Mendi, Liberia, Accra, and Lagos. Can any one 
doubt that God has thrown the responsibility of 
evangelizing this people upon the Anglo-Saxon race ? 
Does it not seem manifest that God has laid this 
people's spiritual burden upon the sensitive Christian 
heart of England and America ? AYhat if this grand 
cause should prove the agency for neutralizing their 
national prejudices ; or for producing a union, for 
love and human well-being, such as the world has 
never before witnessed ? 

2. Again, I would add, that the evangelization of 
Africa is manifestly to he effected contemporaneously 
with its civilization. Unlike most of the missionary 
and evangelizing movements of modern times, God 
evidently purposes the redemption of Africa, in con- 
nection with the use of all the appliances of culture, 
learning, trade, industry, and commerce. All these 
are already being used, in West Africa, as hand- 


maids of religion. Civilization is to be a most marked 
agent in the process of evangelization, among the 
million masses of that vast continent. We shall see, 
in "West Africa, in these our own days, and on a 
large scale, that primitive mode of propagating Chris- 
tianity over a whole continent, which characterized 
the rapid progress of the faith in Apostolic times ; 
when the Spirit of God seized upon an actual, though 
pagan civilization ; and ran, with an almost electric 
speed, through Palestine, through Asia Minor, through 
Greece, through the Roman provinces, through the 
Roman Empire ; until, in less than three centuries, 
the Christian faith became the master influence of 
the world ; and the diadem of the Csesars had to bow 
in submission to the cross of Christ ! 

So, most probably, will it be in West Africa. The 
day of Africa's agony is being closed up by the simul- 
taneous entrance of Christian churches and civilized 
colonies, all along her coasts, and through all her 
interior quarters ! 

3. You see here also the important fact that the 
main agency God is employing for' the ends I have 
pointed out, is olack men themselves. It is, indeed, 
in West Africa, as everywhere else in all history, 
namely, that the primal training, the early prepara- 
tion come from advanced and superior people. They 
always plant the germs of a new faith, or are the 
pioneers of a new civilization. But the work itself 
is always effected oy indigenous agencies. So in 
Africa, the work of these settlements, colonies, and 
mission, is being done by Negroes. Some of these 
came from the British West Indies : numbers of them 


are recaptured Africans, trained in English schools : 
thousands of them are Am black men, educated 

in the missions of Liberia, or amid the institutions 
and in the schools of this country : and all of whom, 
thus enlightened, are Presidents, Judges, Senat 
Merchants, Civilians, Planters, and a host of Priests, 
and Deacons, and Catechists — sons of Africa ! How 
mighty is the hand of God in the affairs of earth ! 
How wonderful is His providence amid the disastrous 
and destructive doings of men ! The slave-trade has 
been carried on for centuries by cruel, ruthless men, 
without a thought of mercy. The system of slavery, 
in the lands of the black man's thraldom, has been a 
system of greed, and overwork, and lust, and prema- 
ture decay, and death, with but slight and incidental 
alleviations. And yet there have been alleviations. 
God never allows any evils on earth to be entirely 
aggregations of evil, without their incidents of good. 
So here, in this matter, God has raised up, even in 
their lands of servitude, a class of black men who 
have already gone from America, from the British 
West Indies, and from Sierra Leone ; the pioneers of 
civilization and Christianity, to the land of their fa- 
thers. Thus God overrules the wrath of man. Thus 
from blasting, deadly evil, is He ever educing good. 
Thus does He pluck the sting of malignant intent out 
of the disastrous histories of men ; and transforms 
those histories into benignant provident 

I know full well how wickedly, how blasphe- 
mously, all this story has been used to justify the 
wrongs of the Negro, and to fasten it all upon the 
will of God. But when Joseph told his brethren — 


" it was not you that sent me hither, but God," he 
did not mean that they had not acted brutally toward 
him ; but only that, in all the dark deeds of men, 
there is a higher, mightier, more masterful hand than 
theirs, although unseen ; — distracting their evil coun- 
sels, and directing them to goodly issues. God, 
although not the author of sin, is, nevertheless, the 
omnipotent and gracious disposer of it. Let us bless 
God for that master hand of His, which checks, and 
rules, and guides the policies and histories of men ! 
" Alleluia ! for the Lord God, omnipotent reigneth." 
And here we may see, in two special points, how 
God shows himself Sovereign and Governor in this 
world, amid the sore vicissitudes and the bitter trials 
of men. For first, we have disclosed herein the work- 
ings of that great law of God, that is, the call to 
suffering and endurance, to the end of greatness and 
noble duty, in any race or people whom He has elected 
to greatness, and might, and future empire. For 
without doubt, the black man, in the lands of his 
thraldom, has been in the school of suffering ; yea, 
tried in the fiery furnace, that being tried, he might 
secure therefrom the strength, the character, and the 
ability which might fit him for a civilizer and a 
teacher. Not for death, as the Indian, not for de- 
struction, as the Sandwich islander, has the Negro 
been placed in juxtaposition with the Caucasian ; but 
rather that he might seize upon civilization ; that he 
might obtain liardiment of soul ; that he might de- 
velop those singular vital forces, both of the living 
spirit and the hardy frame, in which I claim the 
Negro is unrivalled ; and thus, himself, be enabled 


to go forth, the creator of new civilizations in dis- 
tant quarters, and the founder, for Christ, of new 

And next, we may see in all this that law of com- 
pensation which God vouchsafes the wronged and 
suffering, for all their woes and suffering. After 
being afflicted, by nigh three centuries of servitude, 
God calls chosen men of this race, from all the lands 
of their thraldom — men laden with gifts, and intel- 
ligence, and piety — to the grand and noble mission, 
which they only can fulfil, even to plant colonies, es- 
tablish Churches, found Missions, and lay the founda- 
tions of Universities along the shores, and beside the 
banks of the great rivers of Africa. He lifts up this 
people from lowly degradation, to the great work of 
evangelizing the vast continent of Africa, so that the 
grandeur and dignity of their duties may neutralize 
all the long, sad, memories of their servitude and 


4th, and lastly : I remark that the facts I have 
referred to are fall of promise of that future glory 
in Christ which is promised, and which will surely 
he given to Africa. She has passed, sadly, wearily, 
through long ages of agony and woe ; but the end 
is approaching. " The night is far spent : the day is 
at hand." The day when civilization and true re- 
ligion shall make triumphal march through all her 
quarters, is rapidly drawing nigh. Yea, the time 
has already come when rudeness and barbarism si Kill 

••'placed by culture and refinement. Schools shall 
be filled by ten thousands of joyous children ; Trades 
shall be pursued by her crowded populations ; Agri- 


culture shall pour forth its gifts and offerings for 
distant marts ; Commerce shall bear multitudinous 
treasures to foreign climes ; and Art shall multiply 
its blandishments, to 

" Soften the rude and calm the boisterous mind." 

It was a remark of the great William Pitt : " "We 
may live to behold the nations of Africa engaged in 
the calm occupations of industry, and in the pursuit 
of a just and legitimate commerce ; we may behold 
the beams of science and philosophy breaking in upon 
their land, which at some happier period, in still later 
times, may blaze with full lustre, and joining their 
influence to that of puke religion, may illuminate 
and invigorate the most distant extremities of that 
immense continent." 

And already have these noble words been some- 
what realized. I myself, with my own eyes, have 
seen the fulfilment, in partial degrees, of this grand 
prediction. Large masses of native children are now 
being trained in Christian schools. A great company 
of native catechists have gone forth from their homes 
to train and evangelize their heathen kin. A host of 
native priests and deacons have been commissioned 
to go forth as missionaries, in divers tongues to 
preach the gospel : already have they penetrated the 
wilds of the interior ; already have they reached the 
banks of the Xiger ; and soon the full picture painted 
by the great orator, shall assume the features of grand 
reality, " and science and philosophy, with pure re- 
ligion, illuminate and invigorate extremities of that 
immense continent." 

But nobler words and a more glorious prediction 


have been uttered concerning Africa, than even the 
glowing words of the great British orator : for the 
words I now utter are the words of inspiration, they 
come from God Himself : " Ethiopia " — from the 
Atlantic Ocean to the Indian — from the Mediterra- 
nean to the Cape, " shall soon stretch out her hands 
unto God ! " 



Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the New York State Colonization 
Society, Neio York; May 9th, 1861. 

4 'The Americans are successfully planting free Xegroes on the coast 
of Africa : a greater event, probably, in its consequences than any that 
has occurred since Columbus set sail for the New World." 

— Westminster Review. 


♦ ♦ • 

I have been requested, sir, by your Secretary, 
Rev. Dr. Pinney, to offer this resolution, and to make 
a few remarks upon it : and I have felt it a duty to 
comply with his request, and to come here to tell 
how great a work this Society is doing on the west 
coast of Africa, that is, in the Republic of Liberia. 
I shall speak of what I have witnessed with my own 
eyes ; I shall detail the facts which are matters of 
experience ; and I shall mention some of the blessings 
and advantages of social and political society there, 
in which I have participated. For, sir, I have been 
a citizen of the Republic some eight years, and a 
residence in Africa such a period affords one sufficient 

* The reader of this speech will find considerable variation, in some 
of its statements, from the original publication of it. The reason is 
briefly this, namely, that on the delivery of it, in the Author's great 
anxiety to avoid exaggeration, he understated various items herein men- 
tioned. More careful inquiry and investigation enable him to give the 
tics, now brought forward ; which will be found to accord with offi- 
cial documents. 


experience to speak from. When I went to Liberia 
my views and purposes were almost entirely mission- 
ary in their character, and very much alien from any 
thing civil or national ; but I had not been in the 
country three days.when such was the manliness I saw 
exhibited, so great was the capacity I saw developed, 
and so many were the signs of thrift, energy, and 
national life which showed themselves, that all my 
governmental indifference at once vanished ; aspira- 
tions after citizenship and nationality rose in my 
bosom, and I was impelled to go to a magistrate, 
take the oath of allegiance, and thus become a citizen 
of Liberia. And I then decided for myself and for 
my children, so far as a parent can determine the 
future of his line, that Liberia should be our country 
and our home forever. Nor have I repented this 
election. As denizens of all new countries, so we 
have been called to the trials and some of the suffer- 
ings of emigrants ; and sickness in my family has 
caused us to seek restoration in the land of our birth ; 
yet, if it pleases God to open to me my field of labor, 
I shall soon be wending my way back to my home 

The resolution in my hand expresses gratification 
at the signs of industrial, moral, and intellectual 
progress in Liberia. And this, sir, is the assertion of 
fact. In every department of life and labor in Li- 
beria there are unmistakable evidences of growth. 
I feel the assurance to affirm here that in every 
quarter the most casual observer can perceive 
strength, confidence, self-reliance, development, in- 
crease of wealth, manliness, and greater hardiment 


of character. A glance at any of the facts indicative 
of national growth serves to show this. Take the 
item of Agriculture. When I went to Liberia the 
farming and husbandry of the country pertained 
chiefly to the home supply. But the % case is some- 
what different now, and the change, considering the 
small civilized population, is indeed wonderful. The 
productive capacity of the republic warrants this 
assertion. Look at our coffee-fields. It is, indeed, 
not generally known, but, indeed, I make a moderate 
statement w T hen I say, that our citizens have planted, 
and have now in full growth, not less than 1,000,000 
coffee trees. It is true that we are not telling as 
much upon the market as we are able to in this par- 
ticular. Various reasons can be given for this, some 
arising from the state of the country ; some from the 
condition and character of the people ; especially from 
the fact that the acquisitive principle is latent, re- 
served, and sluggish in many men in the land ; but 
the main reason is, that we have lacked suitable ma- 
chinery for cleaning our coffee.*" 

But there are signs that even now serve to show 
that we are yet to have a large participation in the 
coffee trade of the world, and this is seen, especially 
in the interest exhibited in this trade by the citizens 
of Bassa, and in the important and increasing exports 
which are annually made from that county. 

* I am happy to say that this last difficulty will soon be overcome. 
Through the warm interest and enterprise of Edward S. Morris, Esq., of 
Philadelphia, Liberia is likely to be supplied, this year, with " Coffee- 
CLIANnra Machines," capable of hulliug over 1000 lbs. of coffee a-d;i\\ 
with ordinary hand power. 


Look next at the facts relating to our production 
of sugar. When I landed on the shores of Liberia, 
eight years ago, not a pound of sugar was exported 
from the land ; I doubt whether as much as a pound 
was then made for home consumption. But, sir, since 
those days life, and energy, and power have been 
thrown into this branch of industry. The forest has 
been levelled ; broad fields have been cleared ; and 
hundreds of acres of sugar-cane have been planted, 
cut down, manufactured into sugar, and replanted 
again, and again, and again. Taking the Republic 
in the aggregate, we have between five and six hun- 
dred acres of land appropriated to the growth of cane. 
Some of the farmers on the St. Paul's Biver have 
thirty acres under cultivation, some forty, some sixty. 
This year there is unusual activity among the planters. 
Sugar-making is no longer an experiment among 
them ; they have put forth their effort and it has 
succeeded ; the market has welcomed their contribu- 
tion, and they have made money. This stimulant 
has incited them to nobler efforts, and I have no 
doubt that some half-dozen men on the St. Paul's 
will, this year, enlarge their respective farms to one 
hundred acres each. At the last grinding season, 
some of these men manufactured and shipped to 
foreign ports, some thirty thousand pounds, some 
forty thousand pounds, and in one instance fifty-five 
thousand pounds of sugar, with a proportional quan- 
tity of molasses and syrup. These facts, with the 
strong current of industrial interest now flowing in 
this particular channel, warrant the belief that Li- 
beria bids fair to become one of the greatest sugar- 
producing countries in the world. 


These two staples, that is, sugar and coffee, are 
the chief staples produced by us ; and having referred 
to them, I need not detain you by any special refer- 
ence to cocoa, cotton, and other articles which have 
not as yet entered largely into the calculations and 
efforts of our farmers as sources of gain. 

Take the item of Trade. All along the coast and 
in the interior, from Sherbro Eiver to Cape Lahou, 
our merchants have set up their trading factories 
among the natives. This trade is a trade in Cam- 
wood, Ivory, Gold, Country Cloths, and especially 
in Palm Oil. In order to carry on this trade our 
citizens need the service, coastwise, of sloops and 
schooners, and those whose ambition has stretched 
beyond the home trade, have bought for themselves 
brigs and barks for foreign trade. And thus the mer- 
chants of Liberia are owners of quite a respectable com- 
mercial fleet. The number of vessels, small and large, 
owned by Liberia, and engaged in trade, is forty. 

What the correct statement is of exports and im- 
ports, I can only say proximately. The imports at 
the single port of Monrovia, for the year 1S60, 
amounted to near $150,000 ; but as there are five 
other ports in the Republic, and two of them of great 
importance, that is, with respect to native trade, I 
have no doubt that our imports exceeded $300,000. 
I am happy to say that our exports exceed our im- 
ports ; we are factors and producers over and ab< 
our consumption of foreign products ; and thus we 
are enabled to show signs of thrift and progress, and 
indicate increasing wealth. The report of exports 
from the port of Monrovia is about $192,000 in 18G0, 


and I presume that the sum of $400,000 is no exag- 
geration of the amount for the whole republic. 

Take next those items which pertain to the best 
and most abiding interests of man, those which per- 
tain to civilization — I mean schools and religion. 
Through the provident care of the several denomina- 
tions of Christians in the United States, all our settle- 
ments are provided with schools, and opportunity for 
securing a common education is afforded to a goodly- 
portion of our population. The Methodist, Baptist, 
Presbyterian, and Episcopal missions have each their 
schools in all of our larger towns. In these schools 
are gathered together, under teachers of, in the main, 
respectable acquirements, our civilized children. But 
they are not exclusive. Numbers of native children, 
servants on the farms and in the families of our citi- 
zens, are also received in these schools. The Sunday- 
schools receive a much larger number of natives and 
Congoes for instruction, and the churches are ofttimes 
filled with them. I have seen, in some Sunday- 
schools, with our own children, thirty, forty, and fifty 
native children, under instruction in English and the 
Christian religion. Added to this, are the schools, 
exclusively for natives, under missionary direction, 
all which agencies are bringing forward a large class 
of natives of the soil, English-speaking in tongue, and 
civilized in habits and manners. Some of these al- 
ready approach our own civilization. Many of them 
are respectable citizens in our towns and neighbor- 
hoods ; men who not long since were heathen, but 
having been brought up in American families, are 
now civilized men. They live in our towns and vil- 


lages ; they go to our schools ; they visit our fami- 
lies; they pay taxes; and they marry among our 
people. Some of them arc teachers ; a few have he- 
come ministers of the Gospel. One case of this civil- 
ized transformation is worthy of notice. It is the 
of a native young man, who was brought up in 
a mission-school at Bassa ; subsequently he was 
brought to this city, and went to the second colored 
public school in this city, and afterwards returned to 
Africa. On a recent occasion, a vacancy having oc- 
curred in the representation to the Legislature in that 
county, this young man was pitched upon by the 
Bassa people as the proper person to be sent. I be- 
lieve, however, that the purpose of his fellow-citizens 
was frustrated by some missionary arrangements ; 
but from the way I have heard responsible citizens 
speak of him, I feel quite certain that the people of 
Bassa regard Mr. Pitman as one of their foremost 
men for character and ability. 

I am endeavoring to show how in various ways 
Liberia gives evidences of moral, industrial, and in- 
tellectual progress, and I think the statements I have 
brought before you evince energy and progress among 
my fellow-citizens ; but perhaps a more life-like rep- 
resentation of activity in Liberia may be gathered 
from a brief account of a recent journey along our 
coast. 1 left Cape Palmas, a few weeks ago, on my 
return to America, and on our journey we stopped 
at every settlement on the way to the capital. When 
we reached Sinou we found there the bark E. B. Roye, 
the property of a most enterprising fellow-citizen, Mr. 
E. J. Roye, merchant of Monrovia. In a day or two we 


readied the settlement at Bassa, and there we found 
a small craft trading, owned by another fellow-citizen. 
We went to Jnnk, and there we saw the fine steam 
saw-mill of Payne and Yates, their yard filled with 
plank, and a long distance along the banks multitudes 
of logs, which are furnished them by the enterprising 
natives there, for their mill. Off from the town 
we found there, lying in the harbor, two vessels, the 
property of Payne and Yates, Liberians, loading with 
lime and plank. We went on to Monrovia, and, as 
we turned the noble projection which makes Cape 
Montserrada, we found in the roads six vessels and 
the steamer Seth Grosvenor, all the property of our 
own citizens, and floating the Liberian flag. "We 
went ashore and entered the streets of our capital ; a 
city regularly planned and gradually filling up with 
brick and stone edifices. The next morning we were 
woke up with the early sound of martial music, and, 
hastening into the streets, saw a fine body of troops 
gathered from several settlements, and led by the 
Secretaries of State, and of the Treasury, on their 
march to the beach to embark for the southern sec- 
tion of the country, to put down a pestilent set of 
natives, who, for the last three years, have been 
giving us much trouble and defying our authority. 

A few davs afterward, I took a iournev to the 
new interior settlement, Careysburg. I sailed up the 
St. Paul's and found everywhere the signs of progress. 
I had been nigh three years away from Montserrada 
County ; and great was my surprise to see large and 
extensive fields cleared, and planted with sugar-cane, 
which, when I went to Palmas, were a dense wilder- 


ness ; new brick and frame-] 10 uses recently erected ; 
brick-kilns at divers places, containing from fifty to 
one hundred and fifty thousand bricks. Great was 
n iv delight, as we sailed up the river, to behold wide- 
spread sugar-fields ; the brick mansions of the farm- 
ers, ranged upon the banks of the river ; and to see 
in the distance, the curling smoke ascending, and the 
floating steam from the sugar-mills, at several points, 
where the grinding of the cane had commenced, and 
sugar was in the process of making. Stopping a few 
hours at the farm of an old friend and schoolmate, 
who plies two noble packets on the St. Paul's ; has a 
large sugar-cane farm ; and at the same time is mak- 
ing, this year, one hundred thousand bricks, I mean 
Mr. Augustus "Washington ; I started thence, through 
the wilderness, for Carey sburg. After a few hours' 
travel, we came first to a solitary log-house of a new 
settler ; soon after we reached a group of good, sub- 
stantial dwellings, forming a little village, surrounded 
by acres of recently cleared land. After a while we 
arrived at the neighborhood where large preparations 
are being made for the interior road. There I saw, 
at different places, the banks of some four different 
streams secured by neat, solid masonry of our own 
laborers, in preparation for the bridges, projected for 
the cart-road. In two places, fine bridges, symmet- 
rical and substantial, had been thrown across these 
streams. At another spot I saw a company of twenty 
odd men, in busy activities, preparing a new bridge, 
and grading the road; and all this work was being 
done by workmen, emigrants from this country, citi- 
zens of Liberia and under the direction of Liberian 


officers and superintendents. Five hours brought me 
to Careysburg ; and as I ascended the main street to 
a lofty elevation, I saw, on every side, the town laid 
out before me, with the precision of a multiplication- 
table. All around were visible more than a hundred 
mansions of the emigrants, surrounded by largely 
cleared patches of vegetables ; their humble chapels 
in elevated positions ; a large reserve in the heart of 
the settlement for a public park ; not far in the dis- 
tance were the larger farms of the settlers, while the 
air was filled with the cheerful sounds of labor, of 
conversation, of hilarity ; and peace and happiness 
seemed to rest upon man and beast and nature ! 

I have presented these incidents to you, sir, as 
evidence of life and activity in Liberia. They show, 
I think, that men are alive in that country, and are 
moving the arms of industry. There are, you know, 
sir, incidental, but significant things, in all lands and 
among all men, which serve to show more clearly 
than more marked demonstrations, that society, in 
its different departments, is instinct with productive 
energy. So these facts which met me a few weeks 
ago, in Liberia, evince that an industrial impulse 
prompts the people of that country. They show, in 
fine, that the springs of action are at work in our 
communities, and give the promise of a not distant 
state of aggrandizement, of greater political impor- 
tance, of commerce, and wealth and refinement. 

I have been speaking thus far, sir, with reference 
to that part of the resolution which relates to the in- 
dustrial, moral, and intellectual progress of Liberia. 
I wish now to show, in as brief a manner as possible, 


that as the Republic is growing in itself, so likewise 
it is telling upon the interests of the aboriginal popu- 
lation. I have already referred, incidentally, to this 
topic. I wish, however, to call attention more dis- 
tinctly to one or two facts which will show more 
strikingly the work we are doing among our uncivil- 
ized kin in Africa. Our diffusion of the English 
language illustrates this point, A mighty number of 
native children have been brought up in our colonist 
families and in mission-schools. Many of these, it is 
true, on reaching their majority, return to country 
homes ; but they carry with them good English ut- 
terance ; in many cases capacity to read and write ; 
in all cases many of the elements of civilization. I 
have had native boys working for me, who when they 
wished any article from their distant towns, would 
write an English note, in as good style as myself; 
and yet they dressed and were living in native style. 
Their habits, civilized necessities, and acquired wants 
assimilate to ours. Vessels sailing from American 
ports loaded with provisions, on reaching our coast, 
find a ready market in native towns, as well as among 
our civilized settlers. They buy meat, and fish, and 
sugar, and molasses, as well as cloth, tobacco, and 
beads. And thus, in these and various other wa; 
our different settlements are diffusing a civilizing in- 
fluence among our native population, and gradually 
bringing them up to our standard of civility. There 
is also another large class of natives who live among 
• instantly : the youth who have been apprentn ed 
to our families, have grown up in our midst, and who 
have been brought, more or less thoroughly, into 


civilized habits. These form an important and valu- 
able accession to our population. Yon know, sir, 
that our population is often set down at 15,000 per- 
sons ; but this by no means does us justice. That is 
very likely our emigrant population : but for every 
American citizen, you may safely put down another, 
either native or Congo, who has been trained in our 
families or schools, and who form, in the aggregate, 
an equal population to our own. They are indeed 
the lower crust of our civilized population ; but we 
should have the full benefit of their enumeration, and 
we should be thus reckoned fully at 30,000 civilized 

Let me now advert briefly to one more evidence 
of our influence among the natives, and the regener- 
ating power of our people and polity : I refer noio to 
the civil and political influence of our government 
upon the natives around us, especially as it respects 
their rights, freedom, and civil elevation. 

You know, sir, that slavery is indigenous to the 
soil of Africa. Indeed, sir, it is indigenous to all 
soils on the globe, and is the cause of misery and 
distress wherever it exists. It is thus in Africa. But 
the hopes of freedom, the aspiration for liberty, work 
as strongly in the bosom of the native African as in 
any other man on the globe. The servile population 
of our surrounding tribes, even to the far interior, 
know where safety can be found from the oppressor. 
Hence, this class, when they find the yoke intoler- 
able, seek the protection of our flag. Runaway boys 
and fugitive slaves come to us from the Bassas, the 
Queahs, the Yeys, the Deys, and especially the Pessahs, 


who are the hereditary slaves of the interior. All 
along; the banks of the St. Paul's, in the rear of our 
new settlements, are to be found a heterogeneous com- 
pound of people of all these tribes, living in small 
towns, enjoying the protection of our laws. I re- 
member the case of two boys who escaped the slavery 
of their tribe, by coming to my own neighborhood ; 
they were pursued by their native master. They 
were taken before a magistrate, who refused to return 
them to their master. The ground assumed was, that 
slavery was riot recognized by our laws, and that 
fugitives from slavery could not be sent back to 
bondage. Thus, sir, our Republic is already a refuge 
of the oppressed. Thus, sir, are we demonstrating to 
the heathen tribes of Africa the highest laws of free- 
dom, and the beneficent operation of Christian gov- 
ernment. And thus likewise are we realizing on the 
soil of Africa, the words of one of your own poets : 

" No skive-hunt in our borders, no pirate on our strand, 
No fetters in Liberia, no slave upon our land ! " 

It is these realities, which I have witnessed, ex- 
perienced, participated in, which have led me to com- 
mend the Republic of Liberia to those of my friends 
in this country, who, either from enterprise or the 
spirit of emigration, feel disposed to look to other 
lands. For a number of years past, a goodly number 
of American colored men have left this countrv, in 
order to better their fortunes. Some have gone to 
California, some to Australia ; and, after accumu- 
lating wealth, returned again to their homes. A like 
feeling now influences many in these States, save 
that they are seeking^ rmant at homes abroad. Some 


are going to Hayti ; some have tlieir attention turned 
to the West coast of Africa, especially to the Yoruba 
country, and the locality of Abbeokuta. And this 
latter class interest me a deal more, I confess, than 
those who are going to the West Indies. And this 
chiefly because the need of Africa — her need of civil- 
ized emigrants — is great, and because educated free 
colored men are the fit agents to effect the re^enera- 
tion of Africa. We cannot, it is true, make great 
pretensions ; our training and culture have been ex- 
ceedingly imperfect. We have been deprived of 
many of our rights in this country. We have been 
debarred from many of those privileges and preroga- 
tives which develop character into manhood, and 
mastery, and greatness. Still we have not been 
divorced from your civilization. We have not been 
cut off from the lofty ideas and the great principles 
which are the seeds of your growth and greatness, 
political, intellectual, and ecclesiastical. 

On the contrary, we too have learned clearly and 
distinctly the theory of free speech and of eonsti^ 
tutional government. We too have participated 
somewhat in all the vast wealth, both religious and 
civil, of your Anglo-Saxon literature. We too have 
learned the advantage, and have risen to the elevation 
of all those great legal charters which interest men in 
government, and which make government subserve 
the best interests and desires of its citizens. And 
these kindly though incidental providences have 
placed us in governmental capacity, and in fitness for 
the prerogatives of government, in advance of many 
peoples, who in other respects are above us. The 


freed black man of America is, I feel assured, a supe- 
rior man, in the points I have mentioned, to the 
Russian, to the Polander, to the Hungarian, to the 
Italian. Notwithstanding our trials and burdens, we 
have been enabled to reach a clearer knowledge of 
free government than they, and to secure a nobler 
fitness for its requirements, duties, and guarantees. 
I speak from the facts which have fallen under my 
observation, among my brethren in Africa. And 
hence I feel desirous that those enterprising and 
Christian men here, who are looking abroad for new 
homes, and other fields of labor, should join us in 
Africa, for the regeneration of that continent. My 
own desire, moreover, is that instead of scattering 
ourselves thousands of miles apart along the coast, 
we should rather concentrate our parties and our 
powers. Of course, I cannot say a word in the ab- 
stract, against the mission which draws many men, 
and some of my own personal friends, to Abbeokuta. 
But I do regard it a mistake in policy. I have the 
impression that providence points out all that field to 
the freed and cultivated men who have been raised 
up and prepared by the English at Sierra Leone ; and 
who, especially by blood and language, seem to me 
God's chosen messengers to the valley of the Niger 
and its far interior. And I have the conviction that 
we of the United States, with our peculiar training, 
and with our democratic tendencies, will find our- 
selves out of place, as well as in an uncongenial ele- 
ment, in the strong governments of interior Africa. 
And therefore I have thought that in every way, it 
would be far better for men leaving this country for 
Africa to join their fortunes with us in Liberia. Our 


training, habits, customs, education, and political ex- 
perience, have made us — it is not, it is true, a digni- 
fied mode of expression, but I have used it in private, 
and may be pardoned its use here — they have made 
us " Black Yankees ; " and I feel assured that in Li- 
beria, we shall find a more congenial field, better 
appliances, a government more suitable to our ante- 
cedents, better fitted to a youthful nation and an 
aspiring emigrant population ; to achieve that which 
seems to me the master aim of all our colonization to 
Africa, and the noblest duty of the Republic of Li- 
beria — I mean the evangelization and enlightenment 
of heathen Africa ! But, sir, I fear I tire you, and I 
close at once. 

For three hundred years the European has been 
traversing the coast of Africa, engaged in trade and 
barter. But the history of his presence and his in- 
fluence there, is a history of rapine and murder, and 
wide-spread devastation to the families and the homes 
of its rude and simple inhabitants. The whole coast, 
sir, has been ravaged wherever his footstep has fall- 
en ; and he has left little behind him but exagger- 
ated barbarism, and a deeper depth of moral ruin. 

Kow, sir, we are there : we black men of Ameri- 
ca — we who have been trained in the severe school 
of trial and affliction — we who have been educated 
amid the free institutions of this country; and, sir, 
I pledge you in behalf of that able man, our national 
chieftain, and all the other leading men of Liberia, 
that we will endeavor to fulfil the duties which de- 
volve upon men laying the first foundations of new 
empire ; and to meet in a proper manner, the obliga- 
tions which Divine Providence has brought upon us. 


Preached before Trinity Church, Monrovia, July 30th, 1854. 

" We know, and indeed, what is better, we feel inwardly that religion 
is the basis of all civil society, and the source of all good and of all 
comfort." — Burke. 

Religion is the foundation and cement of all human societies." 



Psalm xxxiii. 12. — "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; 
and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." 

Last Wednesday was the anniversary of our 
national independence : and I feel that, as a Christian 
pastor, I should not let this event pass by, without 
calling special attention to it from the pulpit. For 
I am not; one of those in whose mind religion is so 
far divorced from national and governmental affairs, 
that it becomes wrong for a minister to speak about 
any thing that is political in its bearings. On the 
contrary, my belief is that Christianity should per- 
meate all the relations, and all the institutions of so- 
ciety ; and hence that there is no true, faithful, exer- 
cise of the Christian ministry, unless that ministry 
causes the faith to touch everywhere with an illumi- 
nating, life-giving energy. Political partisanship in 
the ministry is unseemly, distracting, and unspiritual- 
izing in its influences and tendencies : but that there 
is any thing in the State, or in the general principles 


or policy of government, which is without its moral 
character, or, which is entirely unrelated to Chris- 
tianity and the Church, is a grievous error. For 
every thing in this world tells some way upon re- 
ligion, however merely material or secular it may 
be ; and from the mysterious woof of Divine Provi- 
dence are brought out, in the end, those complete and 
masterly events, which at once scatter the mists of 
human doubtfulness — 

" And justify the ways of God to man." 
And therefore I say that a spirituality in ministers, 
which pretends to such loftiness and elevation that 
it cannot attend to the affairs of earth, and cannot see 
the bearing of Christianity upon government, and 
laws, and policy, is vain and illusory. There is a 
relation of the pulpit to the commonwealth. Religion 
does take cognizance of all national affairs. Chris- 
tianity does maintain its ascendency on the State, 
and all its concernments : for one of the prime ideas 
of the Word of God is, the fact of Divine Sovereignty 
over all the nations of the earth ; and the magnificent 
idea of the Scripture is, that the Lord Jesus Christ is 
of right " King of kings " — the Great Spiritual Po- 
tentate over all the emplres of creation ; and that 
all of them are yet to be brought into subjection to 
His rule and under the authority of His laws ! As 
an officer in the Kingdom of His grace, that Kingdom 
which He has established in this world ; — a Kingdom 
which is yet to rule over this and all other nations ; 
and, as a citizen of this country, I deem it fit, and 
meet, that while the ideas of freedom, nationality, and 
independence, are fresh and lively in your minds, to 


bring before you the relation of Christianity to our 
country : — or, God in a nation ; with the moral and 
spiritual lessons connected therewith. 

There are three principles pertaining to this sub- 
ject, to which I desire to call your attention : 

First, that national greatness is always correlative 
with the ideas of God and religion. 

Second^ that the true ideas of God. and religion, 
if maintained in purity by a nation, will make that 
nation immortal. 

Thirdly, that the greatness and renown generated 
by these ideas, depend upon the individual character, 
spirit, and enterprise of the people. 

First. I am to show that national greatness is 
always correlative with the ideas of God and religion. 
By this I mean that a nation is great just in proportion 
to the clearness of its idea of God. If a people think 
that God is a Spirit, that idea raises, or will raise 
them among the first of nations. If, on the other 
hand, they think that God is a stone, or a carved 
image, or a reptile, they will assuredly be low and 
rude. A nation that worships stocks, or ugly idols, 
can never, while maintaining such a style of worship, 
become a great nation. In ancient times, it is true, 
there were great nations that were idolatrous, but 
their infancy was religiously simple ; and it was only 
as they increased in power, dominion, and military 
renown, that they receded from the simple, natural 
forms and rites of their fathers; and fashioned, by 
their gross imaginations, or brought homo from their 
conquests, the hideous idolatries which ruined them. 


"While yet fresh and young, with the mighty power 
of natural religion in their souls, they were strong, 
mighty, and prosperous. When luxury and affluence 
were secured, idolatry arose ; and they gradually 
failed, and at last perished ! Xo nation that we 
know of ever became great whose origin was coeval 
with a worship of stocks and stones. And however 
mighty a nation, that is idolatrous, is, if it clings to 
idolatry, it must fall ! Should England, or Holland, 
or Prussia, or the United States, renounce reverence 
of the true God of heaven, and determine, that hence- 
forth they would worship some noble animal or some 
carved image ; they would at once bid " a long fare- 
well to all their greatness. 5 ' And not only because 
God would frown upon them for such base apostasy ; 
but, as I think I may state it — on the abstract prin- 
ciple that the idea of God contains, inherently, such 
transforming power in a nation, that it makes or un- 
makes, according as it is clear, and right, and grand ; 
or, on the other hand, is low, and rude, and sensual. 

This is what I mean by the statement, that na- 
tional greatness is correlative with the ideas of God 
and religion. 

And now, for a few moments, let us think upon 
this subject, and endeavor to see what measure of 
truth it contains, and how we may appropriate that 
truth to our own profit, to the good of our neighbors 
and country, and to the glory of God. 

Xow, if you take up the speeches or treatises 
which explain such national or economical questions 
as I have referred to, you will find much said con- 
cerning the source and origin of the greatness of na- 


tions. We shall find sage and weighty observations 
concerning trade and commerce ; industry and manu- 
factures ; agriculture and production ; wealth and 
luxury ; science and art. As a general thing, these 
are considered the fountain-heads, whence have arisen 
the mighty streams of national greatness in the differ- 
ent ages of the world. 

There can be no doubt whatever that commerce 
has a vast deal to do with increasing the might and 
power of nations : and so has agriculture ; and so 
manufactures ; and so likewise science, in its various 

But then the question arises, what leads to com- 
merce ? to agriculture ? to manufactures ? to wealth ? 
to art ? I am sp caking now, understand, not of the 
mere supply of natural wants, by fitful activity, as 
in the savage state — I refer to Society, if you please, 
in the early buddings of civilization. What leads, I 
ask, to these developments of organized society ? Why, 
the enterprise of men ! But what is the main spring 
of human enterprise ? Thought. But then, again, 
what is the generative principle of the mind's active 
power and activity ? TriE idea of God ! 

Let me present a few facts, which I think will 
neither be doubted nor denied. Look around you 
among the nations, and notice for a moment their 
characteristics. There is England, and Holland, and 
Prussia, the United States, and France, and Belgium. 
They are the greatest nations on the face of the earth. 
In their religious ideas they entertain the true and 
pure idea that God is a Spirit. But the time has 
been when their ancestors were barbarians ; without 

156 G0° A** THE NATION. 

commerce Or enlightenment ; and then they wor- 
shipped dumb idols, and bowed down in fear and 
awe to graven images. Christianity was introduced 
among them a few centuries since, and the night of 
ancestral darkness departed ; and it is a fact that this 
idea, that is, of the oneness and essential spirituality 
of the Divine Being, has been unfolding and develop- 
ing itself ; that has caused their rise, gradually, and 
in proportion as they received it with more and 
more clearness and distinctness, to their present com- 
manding power and influence in the world : for as 
Pagans they could never have originated nor retained 
commerce and civilization. 

But perhaps some one here will want to know 
whether these principles pertain to those ancient 
States, whose names are associated with so much 
grandeur and magnificence. There were Nineveh, 
and Babylon, and Egypt, among the first empires of 
the world. He may ask, " Was it the idea of God 
which carried them up to the height of their glory ? " 
This, without doubt, was the case. When our first 
parents left their Paradisiacal home they carried with 
them, though tarnished, those pristine ideas of God 
and His attributes, which had been their Grown and 
glory in Eden. And there is evidence in the Bible 
and in profane history, that the enlightenment of our 
first parents was transmitted, for centuries, to their 
descendants ; and was the cause of all that wondrous 
refinement and civilization, the fragments of which 
have been disentombed from the sands, — the obelisks 
and the pyramids of Egypt ; and the monuments 
are now being dug up from beneath the banks of 


the Euphrates ; and which, transmitted to England 
and to France, adorn the Tuileries and the British 
Museum. It is a wrong idea to suppose that the first 
ages of the world were blind and uncultivated ; and 
equally wrong is it to suppose that man advanced 
from barbarism to civilization, instead of that he fell 
from it. Adam was doubtless a most complete and 
proper man ; and his descendants, although they 
carried with them for many hundred years, some of 
his high enlightenment and rare capability, still must 
have greatly deteriorated from the high pattern of 
their great progenitor. But still, though fallen, they 
did carry with them, as they spread abroad in the 
earth, those lofty ideas of the great God, with whom 
their Father talked in Paradise : and those ideas 
made them great, started thought, kept up the con- 
sciousness of a high manhood, led to enterprise, origi- 
nated large ideas and grand purposes, prompted 
them to build great cities, and to lay the foundations 
of magnificent empires. But, alas ! so soon as they 
lost those lofty principles, then commenced the facile 
process of sure decline. As they became idolatrous, 
weakness advanced, and ruin ensued. This was 
doubtless the downward course of the first five empires 
of the icorld. By the inspiriting force of simple, nat- 
ural religion, they were raised to power, majesty, and 
culture. But when they became deceived and se- 
duced by the idolatries of their neighbors ; or al- 
lowed a loose authority to a corrupt imagination ; and 
fashioned the forms of a Divine Power to thcmselv ; 
then, not all their intellectual greatness, nor the vast- 
ness of their imperial power, could preserve them 


from decay and ruin. The whole process is detailed 
by St. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans — " Because 
that when they knew God, they glorified Him not 
as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in 
their imaginations, and their foolish heart was dark- 
ened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became 
fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God 
into an image made like to corruptible man, and to 
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." 
And when they took birds, and beasts, and creeping- 
things as their deities, God brought them down to 
the level of beasts and creeping things ! and laid 
Nineveh, and Babylon, and Egypt, low in the dust ! 
And where, I ask, on the face of the earth, can you 
find a nation that worships birds, and beasts, and 
creeping things, that is great, powerful, and free ? 
Where ? Not one ! A people are always as high 
as their idea of God. If their idea of God is a reptile 
or a worm, they must grovel, they cannot rise ; they 
cannot be great ; no commerce, laws, nationality, art, 
or manhood can proceed from such a people. The 
ideas of God and religion rule the human being ; and 
if, in a nation, those ideas are low, then the heads and 
souls of that people are bowed down, and know no 
elevation. But, on the other hand, the true idea of 
God magnifies a nation's mind, and leads to develop- 
ment in every mode and direction : for it lifts up 
man to every thing great and noble ; and so enlarges 
his soul that the depths of the earth are not deep 
enough for his penetrating gaze ; and the boundless 
seas not grand and majestic enough for his swelling 
thought ; nor the illimitable spheres above vast and 


extensive enough for excursive reason ; and so, after 
all adventurous daring, and grand endeavor, and en- 
nobling effort, his soul is forced back to the Great 
Being, the idea of whom, within his soul, originated 
all his thought and action ; to seek satisfaction in the 
Infinite and the Eternal ! But the soul that worships 
things low and grovelling, clings to the dust ; and is 
not only divorced from all spiritual greatness, but 
knows not even the simplest beauty of nature, nor 
yet the excellence of its own being ! 

Second. I advance now to the second point which 
I was to speak of, that is, that the true ideas of God 
and religion, if maintained in purity by a nation, will 
make that nation immortal. 

I present this consideration because every thought- 
ful man desires that his country may live ; and hence 
it is a matter of importance to all such, to learn and 
know what will prolong, and hand down to the future 
that nation's life, with which he is connected, and 
which he loves. There are various causes which 
cause this solicitude in the breast of a good citizen : 
the great poet of our language says that " man is a 
creature who looks both before and after ; " and 
among his many cherished sentiments, are hope for 
his children and love of his country. And I have no 
doubt that, to a great extent, it is because reason and 
manly feeling thus act in man, that, besides anxiety 
for a pure past history, a Christian patriot ponders 
deeply upon the interests of the future. It is the 
wont of most men, in the ordinary current of life, to 
think but little whether they shall live very long in 
this world : they know they must die ; they know 


the allotted period of man's life, and they look for 
the bound of their earthly existence at no very re- 
mote period. But no good citizen, no true patriot, 
wants his country ever to die ; but wishes rather that, 
when buried and cold in the tomb, his country may 
live on, and be immortal ! But here the question 
arises — " Is immortal life a possible element in a 
nation's being ? Such a tiling has never been. Man 
has never witnessed vitality of this kind and of such 
a measure in history. China, though dating back, 
it is said, to the time of Noah — China, whose age 
numbers thousands of years — China, the oldest of all 
governments, is going to ruin ! And when we read 
the history of mankind, we see nothing but the rise 
and fall of nations ; but permanent, national existence 
— nowhere. Even Macaulay looks forward to the 
time when some civilized "New Zealander shall come 
across the wide Ocean ; and standing on London 
bridge, look around upon the ruins of St. Paul, and 
the fragmentary and columnar remains of the fallen 
Metropolis of Britain. 

But though this has been the fashion of past 
national existence, yet I must confess, that I cannot 
approve the reasoning, which would necessarily make 
it the certain destiny of all future nationalities. For 
one thing seems quite clear, that the promises of per- 
petual endurance of divine favor, for " thousand gen- 
erations," were made to the Hebrews in their cor- 
porate capacity ; and imply also, that if that people 
had been true on their part, to the covenant made 
with them ; God, on His part, would have been faith- 
ivX forever to them. Moreover, there are causes which 


now affect the fate of nations, which never did before 
in all ancient history ; and it is only, by parity of 
reasoning, that is, that like causes produce like effects, 
that we can conclude that, because past nations have 
all perished, therefore all modern nations must perish. 
The reason why the great nations of antiquity per- 
ished, was because they lacked some strong preserv- 
ing element, an unrelaxing conservatism ; which 
could redeem them from the shock of adverse circum- 
stance or ruinous influence, and yet live ; they had 
it not, and they died ! Their commerce, letters, laws, 
luxury, could not preserve them ; for there is no 
inherent life in commerce, letters, laws, and luxury. 
Their religions did not, for they were false, and all 
error is full of death ; and therefore these nations 
died. But now an element has heen brought into 
modern civilization, which was never known before, 
and which makes it a question, whether all nations 
must go down into decay and ruin. Since the com- 
ing of Christ, a new principle has been introduced 
into this world of ours, and into national life, which 
can become part of a nation's existence, and thus 
preserve, intact, its vitality ! I know the objection : 
— " Man dies, and he is necessarily mortal. What is 
a nation hut the aggregate of the individual men it 
contains ? Therefore a nation is necessarily mortal 
and decaying." But I doubt much the correctness 
of this mode of thought. I cannot think that the 
assertion that " a nation is hut the a^reo-ate °f the 
individual men within it," contains the full and the 
complete idea of national being. A nation is Society, 
in an organized state, under the influence and control 


of broad principles and superior ideas. This does 
not define man, the individual : neither can any 
single incident or accident of the one or the other, 
be presented as representing the proper idea of either. 
The necessary mortality of man, therefore, cannot 
imply the necessary decay and ruin of the State, for 
the man dies ; nay, whole generations of men die ; 
but the State lives and flourishes ; and it is my be- 
lief, that now, under the vital influences of the pure 
religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the nation that 
recognizes the God of heaven as its supreme Govern- 
or, and places itself ever under the sanction of His 
laws and governance, may look for the infusion of a 
higher life than has been the usual wont of national- 
ities, and may run along the pathway of a glorious 
immortality. And here the Christian patriot of Li- 
beria can see whence this nation, though young, weak, 
without resources, and yet in feeble infancy, can lift 
up its head, and look down calmly, and with assur- 
ance, through the deep vistas of the future ; and pur- 
pose in God, to have for her children, in ages yet to 
come, a national life ; and live on forever, mindless 
of decay, and fearless of ruin ! We know that there 
is no trust in wealth ; for Babylon was wealthy, and 
she is gone. We know there is no reliance to be 
placed in power and luxury ; for Home had these, 
and they could not save her. We know that great 
commerce and extensive trade can give no security ; 
for the Phoenicians were thus distinguished, and they 
went down. We see that national life and perpetuity 
do not spring from learning and wisdom ; for old, 
cultivated, and elegant Greece is now a " base king- 


dom." But independently of all this, we also know 
that if the light of letters grows dim; if the power 
of commerce and of wealth relaxes ; if luxury cloys 
and enervates ; and the might of arms becomes nerve- 
less and fails ; we know, I say, a power which knows 
no decay and which repels all weakness; which is 
all-vital and energic ; which, amid the transitoriness 
of all temporal things, retains the fixed reality of 
heaven ; and which, here, amid the things of time, 
shows even now the might and endurance of eter- 
nity : — I mean the religion of Jesus. 

Thirdly. But these various suggestions I have 
made are not alien from duty, but rather have a 
weight of individual responsibility connected with 
them ; and hence I have joined with my two former 
propositions, the principle, namely — " That the great- 
ness and renown which the ideas of God and religion 
generate, depend for their vitality, in a nation, upon 
the individual character, spirit, and enterprise of the 
people in that nation." I beg to call your attention 
to this point, and I desire to impress it most strongly 
upon your minds. We talk of a nation, but too often 
forget that a nation is made up of the aggregate of 
the individuals that live in that nation. We speak 
of our country, but should never fail to remember 
that this, our country, is composed of all the in- 
tegral persons who are citizens of this country ; that 
you and I, and your neighbor beside you on your 
seat, and my neighbor by me here, and all the other 
men, women, and children in the land, make up our 
country and compose this nation. And hence, what- 
ever greatness or renown a country may have, it 


flows in from the individual, personal contributions 
of this, and that, and the other man, and of all our 
fellow-citizens ; who, either by industry, enterprise, 
skill, talent, statesmanship, learning, or, far above all, 
by character and goodness, give the country a name, 
and add to its greatness and renown. For you should 
remember that no one man can make a country. 
We say that Peter the Great made Russia, that Wil- 
liam Pitt saved England. But these expressions are 
only figurative. What we mean by them is, that 
these master minds directed the spirit of their re- 
spective nations ; and, by their talent and character, 
led the people to do those things which, in the one 
case, raised Russia from barbarism, and in the other 
kept England out of the greedy grasp of Xapoleon. 
For any one can see that neither the monarch nor 
the statesman could do these things alone. There is 
every probability, moreover, that there were as great 
men in Russia and in England as these men, only 
that they were not in the position to lead the national 
mind ; and, still further, that these other great men, 
in their several positions, were large contributors to 
the whole mighty mass of virtue, enterprise, and 
character, which swelled up the honor and the fame 
of their respective countries. And herein we have 
our individual teachings, each and every one of us, 
as Christian patriots of Liberia. Whatever Liberia 
be now, or may become in the future, depends upon 
the aggregate character of her citizens. Xo one man 
can make Liberia a great nation. Her greatness, 
which is all in the distant future, if, indeed, she ever 
attain it, can never come from any single individual, 


be he who he may. But if you and I, and all our 
compatriots, (t quit ourselves like men," for the glory 
of God in this land, and for the honor of our country ; 
and transmit a pure piety and masculine virtues to 
our children ; then the name and the institutions of 
Liberia shall be perpetual, and she herself immortal ! 
But you will notice the condition I introduce, that is, 
that we quit ourselves like men — like godly men — 
each and every one of us, in our respective spheres. 
To this end the scholar must bring his lore ; the 
merchant his enterprise and wealth ; the man of 
letters his refinement ; the artizan his skill ; the me- 
chanic his plodding energy ; the agriculturalist his 
industry. Every effort must be made to deepen the 
tone of morals among us ; to increase a sense of per- 
sonal honor and manly integrity ; to make the attain- 
ment of mere self-ends to be regarded as low and 
vulgar ; to create a public sentiment in which the 
baseness of men, and womanly shame, shall, perforce, 
seek obscurity instead of exhibiting a brazen front ; 
and, in fine, to give such an ascendency to Christian 
truth and principle, as may strengthen and encourage 
good men, and delight the heart of our God. Our 
children must be trained up in intelligence, manners, 
and virtue, and our wives and daughters must pre- 
sent to the world an unstained chastity, a purity and 
simplicity of manners, at once pleasing and attractive, 
and a womanly dignity and self-respect, which shall 
both demand respect and excite admiration. 

A spirit of vigorous enterprise must be at once 
originated by government as well as individuals: 
bold, but judicious ventures must be made in every 


direction — in farming, in trade, in commerce — to give 
importance to the nation in foreign lands, and to 
increase the individual wealth of our merchants and 
citizens. I speak of wealth as a desirable acquisition ; 
and, as a Christian minister, I have no hesitation in 
doing so : for with proper aims and purposes before 
him, any man may as properly be ambitious of riches 
as of health, or shelter, or mental growth, or of inno- 
cent recreations. For although godless riches and 
unsanctified wealth " make themselves wings and fly 
away," and " perish by evil travail," and are filled 
with " deceitfulness," and are spoken of as " cor- 
rupted ; " yet we see, both in sacred writ and in God's 
providence, that He gives riches, and wealth, and 
affluence, as precious gifts and favors, to the chosen 
ones whom He wills. For " Abraham was very 
rich " through His favor ; and David had earthly 
prosperity in bis day, and " died full of riches and 
honor ; " and to Solomon the Lord declared — " I will 
give thee both riches and honor." Moreover, we find 
the record that " the Lord maketh poor and maketh 
rich " — that " the blessing of the Lord, it maketh 
rich " — in the blessing of Solomon — " both riches 
and honor come of God," and that Ci by the fear 
of the Lord are riches and honor." When I speak 
of wealth, however, I do not refer to the pitiful sums, 
which some minds of narrow scope aim after, for 
mere personal pride and luxurious content ; but 
rather to the solid accumulations — to the grand ac- 
quisitions which may approximate, in our humble 
circumstances, to the great capital of merchants, and 
traders, and landed proprietors, in great lands abroad. 


And this, not that it should make men foolish — prid- 
ing themselves on the perishing things they may 
amass ; which is the most ludicrous tiling the angels 
look down upon ; — but wealth to do good, to glorify 
God, to add to the nation's importance, to push for- 
ward civilization through Africa, to promote science, 
to found virtuous families, to increase comfort, and to 
provide for those, for whose existence and well-being 
we as parents are responsible. And thus, by indus- 
try, by enterprise, by skill, by learning, all colored 
and characterized by genuine piety ; let us each and 
all, in our several positions in life, and in the fear of 
God, make a new start for the upbuilding of the 
Republic and the glory of the land ! 

In conclusion, let me make a few suggestions, 
which, I think, are in their nature calculated to give 
encouragement, self-reliance, and incentive to the 
manifestation of high and manly citizenship. 

1. First, then, let me say that the fact, that we 
belong to that race of which we are members, is in- 
centive to earnest endeavor for the Commonwealth. 
A prime consideration here, is the fact that we are 
members of a but rising race, whose greatness is yet 
to be achieved — a race which has been spoiled and 
degraded for centuries, and in consequence of which 
has been despised. For the name, and fame, and 
character, and well-being of this race, in every quar- 
ter of the globe, let us, as we are in duty bound, strive, 
by the means of this our nationality, to afford them 
cheer, by the sight of manhood and of progress here, 
and give them 


" Secret refreshings that repair the strength, 
And fainting spirits uphold." 

In another respect, moreover, we are stirred to 
energy and activity. "VVe belong to a race possessed 
of the qualities of hope and endurance, equal at least, 
to any class of men in the world. The mid passage 
alone was enough to exterminate any people ; but 
we, in large remnants, have survived it, both in body 
and soul ! "We have lived through all the lacerations 
and soul-crushings of the deadly system of slavery, 
and the miserable influences of caste. ISTot merely 
the life of the body, but the moral being, the soul 
of this poor race, has stood the shock of mental 
pain, and anguish, and sorest desolation, and yet 
come forth at last triumphant ! Signal examples 
are vouchsafed us for courage and for hope. Bear 
witness, departed shades, who attest the moral strength 
and endurance of this race ! Thou immortal Tous- 
saint ! Statesman, General, Ruler ! Thou generous 
Eustace ! Christian and Philanthropist ! and all the 
other unnumbered hearts who have struggled, alas ! 
in vain for freedom ! Or ye, who on many a planta- 
tion have calmly, quietly died, rather than submit to 
the yoke ! Or, ye other children of faith, who, under 
the saddest of all earthly ills, have manifested the 
wondrous power of grace, by the wisdom of patience 
and the calm dignity of hope ! 

2. I remark, secondly, that we have a further 
inducement to pious patriotism, from the fact that 
God's gracious favor is evidently manifested to our 
race. For three centuries we have been passing 
through the ordeal of trial and suffering, in the 


severe school of slavery : and yet in all these clays 
God has been with our fathers, upholding and sus- 
taining them. Other races have been swept out of 
existence, but God has preserved our life ; and, in the 
lands of our captivity, has given our brethren free- 
dom from the yoke, the light of Christianity, and 
some of the enjoyments of intelligence and culture. 
And now, wherever we look, the acknowledged man- 
hood of the race has been won, and the race is going 
upward and onward to high intelligence and in- 
creased power. Not only are they emancipate and 
freed in the British and French West Indies, but, in 
the changes which emancipation has caused, the chil- 
dren of the former oppressors of our race are being 
reduced ; and the blacks are rising to influence, and 
are fast coming into the possession of the property 
of their former masters. The whole of the British 
West Indies are yet to form, under English authority, 
one large black empire. In Brazil the same genial 
process is being eliminated out of all the dark 
obscurities of slavery. In Hayti there exist un- 
doubted evidences of a growing civilization, refine- 
ment, intellectual culture, and commercial expansion, 
and clearly showing, that, were it not for the incubus 
of Romanism, Haytian civilization would fast run up 
to its culminating point. In the United States the 
free black men of the North, by the encouragement 
of friends, by the formation of High Schools and the 
opening of Colleges, are making rapid progress in 
the acquisition of learning and in strength of char- 

Now, with these evidences of God's favor upon 


our race, can we do otherwise than hold up our heads 
and press on with vigor. Sixty years ago the savans 
of Europe and. America were dehating the question 
— " Whether the Negro is a man 1 " and now there 
is no moral interest in the world which commands 
so much attention and regard as that of the black 
man ; agitating even disinterested but generous Eu- 
rope, from Britain to the domains of the Czar ; and 
shaking, from centre to circumference, the fabric of 
American nationality. And with all the prerogatives 
and advantages of our own nationality and Protes- 
tantism — the latter of which is not possessed either 
by our French West Indian brethren or by Hayti — 
shall we not strive to take the lead, ere long, of the 
entire black race, and by our pure example, by the 
manifestation of thrift and high endeavor, cheer them 
on their way, and give them full demonstration of 
the real though latent capacity we possess ? Let us 
accept with gratefulness the indications of God's 
gracious favor to us, and tread with firmness the 
open pathway of science, letters, religion, and civil- 
ization ! * 

And now I close as I began, holding up before 
you, in conjunction, the ideas of " God and ouk 
country." It is a matter of the primest import that 
we keep ever fresh and lively in our minds this grand 
relation : " God and our country." Not God alone, 
regardless of human relations, for that is nothing but 
fanaticism : as if there could be a healthy piety 
indifferent to the family or the nation ! Nor yet, on 
the other hand, — " Our country " — mindless of God 


and regardless of the sanctions of religion, for that 
is Atheism ; and in the end, in its effects, confusion 
and ruin. Our only safety under the moral govern- 
ment of this world is in fastening our country upon 
the throne of God. For without Him there is no life, 
in the body nor in our souls ; in states nor in institu- 
tions ; in nature, in plants, nor in trees ; in the depths 
of the seas ; amid the whirling hosts of the heavens. 
And so there is no life in a nation without God. 
"In Him is life," and there is none besides. All 
growth proceeds from Him, whether it be the tiny 
plant " beneath a mossy stone," or the spiritual vital- 
ity of the grandest Archangel in the eternal heavens ! 
All fixedness, all endurance depend on Him, whether 
it be the firm seating of the hills around us, or the 
everlasting permanency of the eternal throne ! Ay, 
brethren, God is every thing ; and all of high, and 
great, and noble, depends on Him. In the idea of 
God, in the evolvement of the religious idea, in the 
pure, and strengthening, and gracious principles of 
Jesus, is a nation's only sure and real hope for growth 
and permanency. And therefore I say again — 
" God and our country " — for if this idea, in all its 
true relations, governs the minds of this people, then 
shall our country be unto God for ever, for a people, 
and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory. 
" For happy is the people that is in such a case ; yea, 
blessed are the people who have the Lord for their 
God." ' 



Preached at St. Marie's Church, Harper, before the Christmas Convoca- 
tion of Cape Palmas, Christmas Pay, 1859. 

" For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and re- 
turneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and 
bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater ; so shall 
my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth : it shall not return unto 
me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper 
in the thhi£ whereto I sent it." — Isaiah lv. 10, 11. 


Romans i. 14. — " I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Bar- 

This style of expression, wherein St. Paul mingles 
personal references with Gospel teachings, is common 
in his epistles. Of all the several writers of Scrip- 
ture, none speaks so much and so often of himself as 
this Apostle ; not one who uses so frequently the 
personal pronoun " I." In the verse which follows 
my text we see the same peculiarity : " I am not 
ashamed of the Gospel of Cllrist.' , In the 11th 
chapter, — " I also am an Israelite, of the seed of 
Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin;" and, again, — 
" For I speak unto you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am 
the Apostle of the Gentiles." And so likewise in chap- 
ter ix. 16-20. But though this is, indeed, common 
with the Apostle, it is a great mistake to suppose 
that he is egotistical. Never was there a man, in all 
the world's history, in whom selfishness was so thor- 
oughly mortified. So entirely conformed had he 


been made by the Spirit, to the Lord Jesus his 
Master, that his whole life, 'after his conversion, 
presents the rarest, most exquisite spectacle of self- 
forgetfulness and self-sacrifice that the world has 
ever witnessed. 

It is therefore no absorbing thought of self, no 
exaggeration of personal pride or self-importance, 
which led the Apostle to speak of himself, and to 
make so many personal allusions. It has a far differ- 
ent origin. It proceeds from a deep mastery of the 
Gospel over his soul, and from the most solemn con- 
victions of personal duty connected therewith. Un- 
derlying all this frequent and multiform egoism, 
there is a most painful sense of man's spiritual needs, 
and a most yearning desire to meet and supply them. 
The two feelings seem to mingle and unite in his 
soul, to so overpower all other feelings, to so inten- 
sify all other sentiments and emotions, that the Gos- 
pel and himself become, as it were, identical in his 
soul : this is his life ; aside from this he has no being ; 
and hence he ever speaks as though he bore the 
whole burden of the Gospel — as though he, Paul, 
alone was set for the defence and confirmation of the 
Gospel. And therefore he pours forth his ardor, his 
burning desire, his zealous flame, in a continual strain 
of egoisms, through the whole of his thirteen epistles ; 
the significance of which may be best comprehended 
by that one singular, personal expression — " I am 
crucified with Christ ; yet not I, but Christ liveth 
in me ; and the life which I now live in the flesh, 
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me 
and gave himself for me." 


We are not, therefore, to concern ourselves so 
much with the Apostle himself, as with the burden 
of his heart — the Gospel of Christ, in its adaptation 
to tJu need's of men. This idea so fills his soul that 
it overcomes him. " Here is man's safety," seems to 
be his feeling. " Here is man's hope ; there is no 
salvation without this. Here is balm, and here is 
the physician." 

These few words of explanation open the way for 
me to introduce to your consideration the topic, that 
is — " The fitness or the Gospel to the great needs 


with respect to those needs " — to which I desire to 
call the attention of this Convocation this morning. 

1. With respect to these spiritual needs of men, 
we have no great difficulty in apprehending them. 
Our human miseries are so common and so personal 
that no one can miss them. They lie at every man's 
door. They press heavily upon every man's soul. 
There are the common miseries of life, which bring 
their measure of soul-sickness, and plead for healing. 
This earth is a charnel-house, filled with the diseased 
and suffering. The griefs and the pangs of the 
wretched issue forth continually from palaces, and 
huts, and alms-houses, and hospitals, in all the lands 
of earth. Cold, and hunger, and famine, lade the air 
with the plaints and the murmurings of their mul- 
titudinous victims. Injustice and oppression crush 
out the hearts of millions. War, intemperance, and 
lust, destroy the hearts of nations, sweep millions 
into untimely graves, carry desolation and sorrows 
into innumerable families. And passion, hate, ami 


jealousy, poison the well-springs of life at their 
highest sources. 

But besides these, there are the deeper, more secret, 
and sorer miseries, which afflict the universal heart 
of man. As there is a wretchedness which is origi- 
nated in physical ill, which comes out of the bodily 
afflictions of men, so there is an anguish which has 
the soul itself as its fountain-head, and preys upon 
its own vitals. " The heart knoweth its own bitter- 
ness." There is an inward agony and desolation, 
the torture of which is felt by mortals, but which 
they cannot, at times, find words to tell each other. 
The pains and the sorrows which disappointments, 
and failures, and jealousy, and care, and treachery, 
and malice, gender in the souls of men, who can 
estimate ? Then there are the lacerations of bereave- 
ments, the sorrows and the desolations which death 
entails. Deeper yet are the gnawings and the pangs 
of wounded consciences ; the stings of felt but un- 
repented iniquity ; the shame of exposed baseness ; 
the fear or the hardihood of blackened guilt ; the 
convulsive agonies or damning yet determined re- 
morse ; the terrible apprehensions of death ! 

These are what may be regarded as the great 
spiritual miseries of man, and they are common to 
mankind everywhere, whether on Christian or on 
heathen ground. They are those ills and sufferings 
which assail oar human nature, irrespective of circum- 
stance or condition. Xo ono will deny their presence 
in the better states of society ; and if any one doubt 
their existence amonjy such rude and benighted fellow- 
creatures as the heathen around us, we can refer, 


without the shadow of a doubt, to the facts which 
t us on every side in this benighted land. Are 
not tears, and shrieks, and heart-breaking moanings 
the heritage of these poor people, as well as of us who 
are civilized ? Do not sorrows press heavily upon 
their spirits, and woful agonies eat into their hearts ? 
Does not grief furrow their brows, and the cancer eat 
away their soul % Are there not miseries so brimful 
and multitudinous that the spirit ofttimes gives way, 
and the poor victim seeks willingly the sod, saying to 
corruption, " Thou art my father ; and to the worm, 
thou art my mother and my sister?" Are they not 
bruised, and wounded, and lacerated, all their life 
long, by all the divers thrusts of deadly sin ? And 
does not death come here to them, with all its doubt, 
and desolation, and agony ? The groans of infants, 
the shrieks of convulsed children, the despair of men 
and women, passing, in darkness, from time into eter- 
nity, come wafted on the breeze from these crowded 
towns, at times, every morn and eve. And then, when 
death has done its doleful work, and carried grief and 
wretchedness into their sad homes, do we not see the 
deeper traces of his mischief and malignity in the 
wretched rites and the miserable ceremonies which 
attend the passage of the dead from the hut to the 
grave ? A whole populace carried away in a frenzy 
by the absurd notions of the after-life which they 
cherish among them ; the exhibition of debasing su- 
perstitions over the dead bodies and the open graves 
of the departed ; the abject subjection of these poor 
creatures to the power of the devil, to whom they 
cringe and degrade themselves lower than the beasts 


of the field ; and then, at times, that which cannot but 
touch any feeling heart, the convulsive sobs, the bit- 
ter moanings, the mournful weepings over the de- 
parted — stout men made weak as water over the life- 
less remains of children ; heart-broken mothers lifting 
up their voices in despairing tones, reminding one of 
the words of Scripture : " Rachel weeping for her 
children, and would not be comforted, because they 
are not ! " 

2. ISow, with respect to this universal phenomenon 
thus presented, the declaration of St. Paul is equiva- 
lent to this : that the Gospel is the complement to 
man? 8 universal needs and miseries. He says, in ef- 
fect, these words : "I know that men have intense 
spiritual ailments; I am aware of man's inward needs 
and miseries ; I see clearly the fact of soul-sickness, 
and God has made me an instrument for man's cure 
and man's relief. Hence I have announced this sa- 
cred medicine among my own kith and kin — the 
Jews ; but do not think for a moment that this medi- 
cine is for them only. The day of differences and 
distinctions has passed away. The blood of Jesus 
Christ is for all men. It is indeed my duty to preach 
this to the Jews ; but Jesus is your Saviour as much 
as theirs ; and it is as much my duty to preach it to 
Gentiles as to them. Yea, I am debtor both to the 
Greeks and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to the 
unwise ! " 

And this explanation shows most clearly how the 
personality and egoism of St. Paul fade and vanish 
before the glory and the power of the Cross. It does 
this other service also — it furnishes the great truth, 


that is, the fitness of the Gospel for all men. The 
Gospel, and the Gospel alone, is healing and restora- 
tion. Xo idea is comparable with this in importance 
to man. There is, indeed, a seeming indifference to 
religious subjects among men ; but he who looks nar- 
rowly into things will clearly see that of all subjects 
that appeal to men and influence them, religion, all 
over the globe, is the deepest, most powerful, most 
absorbing. But all the other anxieties of men upon 
this subject have been fruitless. At length the re- 
demption of Jesus is announced to the nations ; and 
at once all the needs and the painful necessities of 
the case are met. 

This exclusive claim of the Gospel to be the medi- 
cine for the deep and otherwise incurable diseases of 
the soul is visible in two distinct points, which I will 
briefly point out : 

(a) We know from experience and from obser- 
vation that the disease which is destroying souls is 
one / and, as all men are alike in constitution, it fol- 
lows that the cure must be one which will affect all 
alike. Xow, many of the ills of men are local ; they 
pertain to particular nations, zones, and hemispheres, 
and hence the cures of certain ailments in one quarter 
could not benefit men with dissimilar ailments in 
other quarters of the globe. Xow, the peculiarity of 
the Gospel is, that the remedy for the great evil 
which underlies all human woe is both fitted and <lr- 
Bigned for all men. It is world-wide in its adapted- 

3, and universal in its efficacy. 

If you go to China, the disease which is the fruit- 
ful source of all her multiplied miseries — social, civil, 


religions, and political — is sin. If von come to Africa, 
yon find the fruitful source of her heterogeneous ills 
and sufferings is sin. If yon visit the islands of the 
sea, sin there is the parent of pains and agonies. . If 
yon turn to India, sin, among her many millions of 
idolaters, is the desolator. And so, if you traverse 
the provinces of enlightenment, whether in Europe or 
America, everywhere you will see the deadly spots 
of the same loathsome leprosy, which from the infant 
days of the world has been eating out the vitals of 

xsow, whatever may be the development of this 
virus, if you do not attack it itself your labor is in 
vain. You may cure this evil ; you may get rid of 
that ailment ; you may lop off this withered limb ; 
and cut off that cancered excrescence ; and yet, after 
all, if you do not go directly to the seat of the disease 
which is ruining man, your labor is vain and profitless. 

Sin in the heart, that is, selfishness, alienation 
from God, perfect absorption in self, that is the disease 
in every man and nation on earth which must be 
cured ; and whatever other alterations, changes, and 
apparent good may be done, if that is not effected, 
then nothing has been done. And that the Gospel 
alone can do. It can do it anywhere and everywhere. 
Its power is not confined nor limited. It is fitted to 
men of every clime and nation. It is the only rem- 
edy, the only agency on earth, which has such power 
and ability. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only phy- 
sician of souls who stands up amid the million masses 
of men, capable of turning and touching any one of 
the crowd surrounding, and by touching curing, and 


sending them away liealed and whole, for time and 
for eternity. 

There is another point in which we may see the 
fitness of the Gospel for all men. I have been show- 
ing, objectively, how the Gospel is adapted to ns ; 
(b) but now I wish to point out its fitness, in that 
God has made us in such a way, that we are fitted to 
it. And this is seen in the fact that wherever the 
Gospel is proclaimed as the healing agency for sin- 
ners, and the terms are announced by which' its sav- 
ing power may be obtained, all men can understand 
and appropriate it. If the Gospel demanded money 
as its terms, if it demanded learning, if it demanded 
2?owcr, if it demanded wisdom, if it demanded skill , 
few of the wretched sons of men could secure its bless- 
ings and its gifts. They conld not meet its terms, 
they conld not come up to the demand, they conld 
not answer the requirements. As a consequence, the 
Gospel would not be fitted for all men, nor be adapted 
to the whole race. But see how, in its terms and re- 
quirements, the Gospel proves its universal fitness. 
Tho grand terms of the Gospel are repentance and 
faith. And never have there lived a people on earth, 
however lowly and debased, who have not had re- 
gret ; none who have not exercised, in some way, the 
quality of faith. All men have been sorry about 
something in their lives, and so when they are con- 
vinced of the error of sin against God, they can be 
sorry for sin. All men have believed in something 
around them, and therefore when Jesus is pointed out 
to them, they can believe in the " Lamb of God, who 
taketh away the sins of the world." 


Here, then, is a new principle introduced into 
this world, which comes to us with the claim that it 
can heal all the wounds and bruises and lacerations 
which sin has bred in this world for the ruin of the 
souls and bodies of men ; and, on examination, we 
find that its great Author adapted it exactly to our 
nature, and, conversely, fitted the nature of man 
everywhere to it ; and this, we cannot but feel, is 
" the tree, the leaves whereof are for the healing of the 
nation.' 2 

3. All this, however, is but a theory of the fitness 
of the Gospel. The facts of Church history and mis- 
sionary enterprise give full confirmation of it. The 
past, at least, is certain. Everywhere in the world 
where the Gospel has secured permanent residence, it 
has worked a marvellous transformation ; and often, 
where it has but in passing been casually proclaimed, 
it has left behind a lingering odor, at once healing 
and sanctifying. We sit down and brood over the 
evils of Christian countries, forgetful that those evils 
are in no way whatever the fault or fruit of Christian- 
ity, but only show the quarters where devils have 
not been cast out, where evil spirits still linger, and 
show the needed power of Christ's Church. By this 
short-sightedness, moreover, we lose the full impres- 
sion of the wonderful work the Gospel has done, and 
fail to see the conquering might inherent in the re- 
ligion of Jesus. It was four thousand years before 
Jesus came into the world ; but the nineteen hundred 
years of the Christian era are more than a match for 
those old four thousand years in beneficence, in 
brotherhood, in love, and in purity. What great 


work of goodness was ever done under the Old Co 
nant which can compare with what the Gospel is 
doing every day in our time, both on Christian and 
on heathen soil ? What large and extended blessed- 
ness was ever carried through all the earth, to all the 
sons of men, by any religion before Jesus came? 
There was no such universal agency in being ; no such 
world-wide influence existed anywhere. But when 
the angels of Bethlehem proclaimed on the mild airs 
of Palestine, " Peace on earth, good-will to men ! " 
then a new order of things was heralded to all the 
sons of men — to every quarter of the globe. The 
Gospel then began its work, and ever since has been 
pushing its way through the giant hindrances of sin, 
and proving in innumerable ways its adaptedness to 
all the conditions of life, to all the nations of the 
earth, to all the sons of men. 

The phenomenon is before us in the history of 
man, and its details are manifest. Look now among 
men for any thing high, noble, manly, brave, gen- 
erous, beautiful, large-heartec^ expansive, and where 
do you find it? Nowhere else but among Chris- 
tians ! The bravery of arms ; the security of free- 
dom ; the order of states ; the manliness of national- 
ity ; the purity and excellence of woman ; the expan- 
sion of colonies ; the beauty of art ; the assiduities of 
philanthropy : what are these but the gracious fruits 
of Christianity ? Aye, and wherever Christianity 
goes she produces these fruits. See how, in a single 
generation, our Holy Faith has brought forth the 
first beautiful blossoms of these excellencies from the 
dark and chaotic disorder of the Pacific isles, New 


Zealand, Sierra Leone. Should we have donbt that 
yet nobler triumphs await her progress in new and 
opening fields among more susceptible and anxious 
people ? I know that we often get discouraging 
words from the wise men of the world as to the 
prospective results of missionary labors. They look 
back with an inquisitorial eye, a carping mind, and a 
doubtful and denying spirit, at the long years of 
Christian zeal and energy from the time of Christ. 
They see the larger quarters of the globe under the 
rule of Satan, and presumptuously demand, " Where 
is the promise of His coming ? We do not see the 
signs of the earth's conversion. Heathenism still 
rules the masses of men. Even where your mission- 
aries have been sent, and your mission schools and 
churches have been built, we can see no signs of the 
superior power of the faith you are preaching." 

And yet it is a singular and striking fact that, 
with regard to those particular fields at which the 
sneers of doubters have been aimed, God there, on 
those very spots, has demonstrated the foolishness of 
man and the power of His Gospel, by the abundant 
ingathering of souls from among the heathen. Who 
is there here who does not remember the bitter, bit- 
ing wit and the keen sarcasm with which a humorous 
priest in England once ridiculed the missionary zeal 
of Caret ? And vet Sidnev Smith lived to hear and 
know of the triumphs of the faith in India, of the 
strong and permanent establishment of Christ's Church 
amid the splendid monuments of Hindooism. So, 
only a year or two ago, a leading English review 
brought all the power of a proud intellect, all the 


keen force of a hitter, savage pen into play, to de- 
monstrate the folly of attempting to change the hearts 
and to save the souls of the heathen. And before the 
ink was well dry upon their blasphemous pages, the 
news came careering by wind and sail of that recent 
singular spiritual upheaving in India, which for months 
has been bringing multitudes to prayer, to submis- 
sion, to baptism. Here on this coast, where heathen- 
ism is rampant, English and American civilians and 
traders sit down at table with us missionaries, and as- 
sure us that the natives of this coast can never be 
converted to Christianity. And at once up rise Sam- 
uel Crowther, J. C. Taylor, our own Jones, and Kin- 
kle and Harris, and Pitman, and a host of other na- 
tive-born negroes, all along this coast, from Sierra 
Leone to Abbeoukuta, and in the name of God cast 
back the infidel imputation, and declare in their lives 
and utterance that the Gospel is the " power of God 
to salvation, to every one that believeth " ; to the Jew, 
the Greek, and the barbarian alike. And it is these, . 
and such like facts as these, fr£>m every quarter of the 
globe, which demonstrate by fact that the Gospel 
claim is true in its results as well as in theory ; name- 
ly, that it is the one only remedy for that which, 
without it, is the incurable disease of all human souls, 
the leprosy of sin ! 

Since the Gospel is thus proven, both by theory 
and fact, to be the only remedy for the ills of life, the 
only hope for eternity, we have (a) ground for faith 
in all our work and labor in this field in which God 
has ] tlaccd us. It is God's scheme, and it is designed 
by Him for the salvation of the nations. You may 


be assured, therefore, that it shall not fail in the work 
to which He hath appointed it. Here, then, we have 
the character of God pledged to the completion of 
His own work. "We have His promises, too, that 
His Gospel shall prevail, and He has given vouchers 
for the triumph of the Gospel, in the glorious facts 
which the work of missions presents in every quarter 
of the globe, and among the most debased of human 
tribes, " turned from dumb idols to serve the living 
God." There is a certainty about our work, then, 
which anticipates our labors, and which has never 
been realized before, in any of all the endeavors of 
men. Here is ground for faith and assurance which 
men in no other undertaking could possibly ex- 
perience. ^SVe do not merely trust in and hope for 
the triumphs of the Gospel ; we kxow that all the 
rudeness and barbarism of surrounding heathenism 
shall vanish from this neighborhood ; that the Church 
of God shall supplant the disorganized paganism of 
this people ; and that here, where now indifference, 
obstinacy, sickness, death, and discouraging weak- 
ness seem to baffle all missionary zeal, the Cross of 
Jesus Christ shall shine with a burning lustre, on hill- 
top and in the valley — the symbol of an o'ermastering 
and victorious faith ! 

(b) TTe have, moreover, every incentive to re- 
newed exertion in all our labors ; for we see that a 
great feature in the economy, that is, the workings, 
of this gracious scheme for man is, God's use of h u- 
man agencies for the ends he purposes. We are the 
present agents He employs for the grand objects we 
have been considering. And as God has always 


blessed the wise efforts of faithful men and holy 
women striving to save souls and to glorify Christ, 
so we have every spur and incitement to press on in 
our work, looking for and expecting gracious results 
to follow faithful labors. With all our hopes and 
encouragements, however, we must remember that 
the Divine blessing waits chiefly upon those efforts 
of His people that are in accordance with the univer- 
sal law of fitness. Random zeal and injudicious en- 
ergy accord with no law of His government, and, as a 
consequence, bring forth but few of the fruits which 
are the result of His perfect system. The kingdom 
of God, in all relations, is marked by the presence 
and the power of this great principle, that is, the 
adaptation of means to ends. The law of order rules 
and reigns under the highest spirituality and the most 
exuberant grace. The Holy Spirit breathes, and viv- 
ifies, and enlightens, in strict accordance with the most 
rigid system. There is nothing erratic in the king- 
dom of grace. All the facts of Scripture, though at 
times seemingly confused and disarranged, have, never- 
theless, underlying them great laws of regulation. 
There is a science of Scripture ; so, likewise, there is 
a science of the application of Scripture. So far as 
the facts which may serve for precedents are con- 
cerned, God has given us but few in the Bible. The 
Acts of the Apostles seems to be the history mainly 
of missions among civilized people. What was the 
course of the immediate followers of the Apostles, in 
their work among the rude and barbarous pagans of 
old, we know but little of. We have, however, the 
whole broad field of modern missions for nigh three 


hundred years before ns. God thus by His provi- 
dence teaches us the details of our work and labor, 
points out to us the mode and manner in which sacred 
truth may be savingly applied to the souls of the 
heathen, and also how His servants may conduct mis- 
sions among barbarous people. We must fall back, 
then, upon these facts for instruction and direction as 
to the regimen and rule of our work here. We know 
already what we have to teach souls. But we need, 
all missionaries need, skill and discretion as to the 
modes of carrying on their work. Let us observe the 
wise steps of our predecessors here. Let us seek out 
and examine the lives of the noble spirits who have 
spent their lives in Gospel labors on heathen soil. 
No one can estimate fully the riches of missionary 
biographies or the value of missionary j ournals. There 
are the records of the mother Church of England, the 
narratives of the successful ventures of the godly of 
the different denominations ; and, not seldom, of even 
pious Romanists. Everywhere we may learn wisdom 
and pick up instruction. Culling advice from this 
field, learning discretion from another, extracting skill 
from a third, we shall, with a prayerful spirit and 
with the Divine blessing, become master workmen for 
Christ in the household of faith. 

But there is this great favor vouchsafed all 
the true disciples of Christ laboring for Him, that, 
whatever may be their mistakes, their ignorance, 
their blindness, and their unskilfulness, He abideth 
faithful; "He cannot deny Himself;" that "the 
word of God abideth for ever ; " and that, though 
even our labors may be crude and ill-designed, yet 


we can speak tlie pure words of salvation to needy 
souls, and they shall bear fruit, despite our weakness 
and infirmities, to the praise and glory of His grace, 
if we only stand aright in our place : " holding the 
II tad, from whom all the body by joints and bands 
having nourishment ministered, and knit together, 
increaseth with the increase of God." 


Delivered at Harper, Cape Palmas, Liberia, April 24ih, 1859. 

"And they brought unto him all sick people that were taken -with 
divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, 
and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he 
healed them." — Matt. iv. 24. 

" Jesus of Nazareth .... who went about doing good, and healing 
all that were oppressed of the devil." — Acts x. 38. 



It is a work of mere y which has brought us here 
to-day ; a work of mercy which is required by the 
needs of man, and which is certainly congenial with 
the spirit of Heaven. "We have divine assurance that 
such a work as this is acceptable to God ; for, with- 
out a multiplicity of texts, we may refer to the words 
which our Lord himself repeated from the Old Testa- 
ment : " I will have mercy, and not sacrifice "; and 
to those other precious words which fell from his own 
gracious lips : " Blessed are the merciful, for they 
shall obtain mercy." We have just had additional 
testimony to the same effect, in the graphic descrip- 
tion of the judgment, which has been read as the les- 
son for the day ; and which shows us the satisfaction 
of a gracious judge, in the beneficence of the right- 
eous.* And these are sufficient, without any other 
evidences, that God, in his word, approves those gra- 

* The 25th chapter of St. Matthew, from tho 31st verse, had just 
been read 


cious saving efforts, which are designed to lessen the 
miseries of earth, to mitigate the pains and sufferings 
of men, to assuage the griefs of wretched humanity, 
and, at the same time, to increase the sum of human 
happiness, and to give comfort, well-being, and satis- 
faction to our fellow-creatures. Such words, from 
Scripture, warrant, too, our joy in an occasion of this 
kind, and justify a proper pride and satisfaction on 
the part of the projector of, and the co-workers in, 
this labor of love. Every consideration suggests these 
happy feelings, and prompts such pleasurable emo- 
tions. There is no jar here, to-day, of selfish pride, 
or dissonance of injurious 'and boisterous passions. 
"We are not a crew of base malign ants ; nor are we 
the agents of dark disaster to our fellow-men. 

"We have met with no sinister purposes before us ; 
nor do we aim at objects that are to bring woe and 
anguish to any portion of our kind. On the contra- 
ry, every thing here designed, contemplated and ex- 
pected in this undertaking, is for good and blessed- 
ness. "We would lessen pain. "We would end suffer- 
ing. We wish to neutralize bodily anguish ; to ar- 
rest the deadly progress of disease ; to mitigate inev- 
itable decay, and, where the grave lies surely before 
him, and death is certain, to pave the way of the 
sufferer to the tomb, with as much of quiet, com- 
fort, and ease, as skill and benevolence can possibly 

lS~or are the aims here contemplated, those only 
which are bodily or medicinal. The body is but the 
machinery and instrument of the immaterial essence 
which inhabits it ; and while, indeed, desirous, both 


by skill and kindness, to adjust and restore this ma- 
chinery, when fractured, or disarranged, or lacerated, 
or under decay ; yet, by so much as the soul is supe- 
rior to the body, so do we estimate its superior value, 
and aim the more, directly and indirectly, to seek its 
good. Spiritual, as well as bodily good, is one of our 
aims and objects in this blessed project. "We cannot, 
if we would, escape the notice of soul-suffering in this 
world. "We have to recognize the presence of spirit- 
ual as well as bodily disease among our fellow-crea- 
tures. By sense, and thought, and reason, and obser- 
vation, and experience, by each and all, we have had 
forced upon our attention those internal disarrange- 
ments, those mental fractures, and those spiritual 
lacerations, which are wasting away the better portion 
of man's being, and of which, indeed, physical ail- 
ments and bodily pain are but the outward signs and 
symbols. And, for both the one and the other, the 
disease of the soul, as well as that of the body, human 
beings need medicines, skill, and the Physician. 
Here, as everywhere else in the world, poor human 
nature must needs have the medical man and the 
minister. And this is to be a Hospital for diseased 
bodies and for maimed and wounded souls. 

2. It is this intrusion of human misery which les- 
sens all our joys through life, and makes brief-born 
and transient our brightest pleasures. All our de- 
lights are mingled with pain in this world, all our 
happiness is clouded with sadness. Even the satis- 
faction of this gracious work, which we inaugurate 
to-day, is neutralized by the contemplation of disease, 
which it forces upon us, and by the knowledge of 


loathsomeness, of agony, and of sickening decay, 
which it is designed to neutralize. While our minds 
would fain dwell upon mercy and benevolence to 
man, bruised bodies and aching limbs force them- 
selves upon our imagination or our sight. While we 
would delight ourselves in the harmonious tones of 
human joy, our ears are filled with the sighs and 
groans of men's misery. Indeed, this world of ours, 
ever since the fall of Adam, has been a scene of suffer- 
ing and woe. Bodily distress and physical anguish 
have ever been the common portion of man all over 
the globe. The condition of man may but too justly 
be characterized as a condition of suffering. With 
respect to the body as well as to the sensitive soul, 
the words of Scripture are equally true, that " man 
is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward." The 
frames of but few, born into this world, are whole, 
and strong, and healthy. Somewhere, in every one's 
system, there is a tender point, or an infirm organ, or 
a weakened nerve, or a fractured limb, or a heart not 
altogether sound, or a lingering cancer, or just the 
taint of corruption, which will cause a diseased lung, 
and in the end produce consumption. And thus dis- 
ease, everywhere, produces sorrow and wretchedness. 
The air is filled with the shrieks and groans of the 
suffering. The very sounds of nature are plaintive 
and mournful. Every breeze that sweeps over the 
plains, has its tale of pain and anguish. Every wind, 
in melancholy tones, wails out its agonizing report of 
disaster and of death. Even in the gentlest gales, we 
may hear the groans of infants, the shrieks of con- 
vulsed children, the moans of agonized men, the 


throes of distressed and dying woman, and all the 
various notes of misery with which earth is filled. 

3. Into this region of distress and death — this 
world of suffering and of woe, Jesus Christ appeared, 
lie came on a lofty mission to earth, in order to sec 
what were the pains and pangs of wretched human- 
ity ; and to exert a divine power, capable of arresting 
the deadly tide of disease, in human frames and hu- 
man hearts. He came in his own distinct and pecu- 
liar manifestation — " the Prince of life," for the pur- 
pose of scattering disease and of destroying death and 
its powers. He was the reality of that incident in 
the life of the High Priest, when we read that " He 
stood between the dead and the living, and the plague 
was stayed." Aaron was but the type, but Christ is 
the reality of that wondrous healing power. And 
when He came, the world experienced an efficacy of 
actual curative might, which it had never before 
known in all its histories. 

Here, now, was the great Physician. Here was 
" Balm of Gilead." He went about everywhere, do- 
ing good. He spent a life of generous and saving 
restorative power, healing all manner of disease and 
sickness. He fed the hungry. He comforted the 
widow. lie raised the dead. The deaf had their 
hearing restored. The blind were reclaimed from 
darkness, to look forth in joy upon the brightness of 
clear skies and " the lilies of the field." The paraly- 
tic regained lost vital power to disabled limbs. The 
withered hand was made whole, and became once 
more pliant and elastic. Lunacy was changed to 
calm rationality and clear sense. Indeed, all man- 


ner of sickness gave way, at once, at His presence. 
The fiery heat of consuming fevers, and the malig- 
nity of noxious ailments, were conquered at His ap- 
proach ; for even leprosy, which is death, seated tri- 
umphant amid vitality, yielded at His touch ; and 
life and vigorous health ran suddenly, and with 
alacrity, through the stagnant veins of its despairing 

4. I am told that these were miracles ; and so, in- 
deed, they were. They were mighty works ; " great 
and astounding marvels ; " wondrous and amazing 
powers. They were facts and occurrences which 
startled the senses, and overcame all the deductions 
of reason, and outran the flights of imagination. But 
they were something more than this. They were 
mercies as well as wonders ; grace- tokens as well as 
demonstrations of God's great power ; in fine, mani- 
festations of that gracious and merciful spirit which 
characterizes the religion of Jesus, as well as mighty 
miracles which evidence the Faith. 

Ignorance of this is blindness to the spirit of the 
~New Testament, and of the acts of Jesus. For, with- 
out doubt, no man has even seen the deep reality and 
the wondrous significance of our Lord's miracles, who 
has only regarded them as wondrous marvels, and 
hence, has failed to notice the Divine Love, the genial 
and genuine humanity, the large-hearted philanthro- 
py, and the tender, melting sympathy, which they 
everywhere so savingly signify. The Lord Jesus, 
never be it forgotten, was not only a wonder-worker 
among men, but He was, and pre-eminently so even 
in them, a compassionate Saviour, a sympathizing 


friend, a brother, " touched with a sense of our in- 
firmities," touching men ever with the subduing 
touch of kindness, and with a healing power. 

5. And this feature of Christ's miraculous power, 
it should be remembered, is the one which all the 
ages through, and now, in our own day, still remains 
an unfailing inheritance in Christ's church and to 
Christ's people, aye, and even to a heedless world. 
The age of miracles has gone ; but it may well be 
doubted whether, since Jesus came into this world, 
any distinct power or influence He once exerted, has 
ever departed, entirely and in every way, from among 
men. After the birth in Bethlehem, Jesus is ever 
present in this world ; — His presence is never again 
to depart from it, until the consummation of all 
things. His glorified body is indeed in Heaven ; but 
lie is with His Church always, even unto the end of 
the world. And, being present, those wondrous 
powers, and that mighty energy, which He wrought 
among men, in the days of His manifestation, are 
likewise ever present, and never shall depart. There 
is not one of us here to-day, but who believes in Je- 
sus' personal presence in this church. "We all have a 
firm faith that He is really and undoubtedly with his 
ministry and people, in all their work and service in 
His behalf on earth. "We are fully convinced, that in 
prayers, and preaching, and sacraments, He is not 
a far-off, but an ever-present Lord. But where is the 
warrant for the dubitating thought, that this presence 
is vouchsafed only to those offices which are called 
distinctively religious, and which pertain exclusively 
to the soul \ Where is the ground for supposing that 


the Lord's presence is confined to those things alone 
which we specially entitle spiritual. 

There is, indeed, no such ground. This sceptical 
persuasion is, in some, the fruit of a mere surface 
thought upon the high prerogative of Christ's Church ; 
in another class, it is the offspring of a halting unbe- 
lief ; in others, again, it proceeds from unworthy and 
unwarranted notions of the inferiority of matter, in 
general, and of the body in particular ; forgetful that 
all things, since Christ's coming, are sanctified to the 
loftiest purposes. 

" For the base world, now Christ hath died, 
Ennobled is, and glorified." 

In truth, brethren, to deny, or even doubt, Jesus' 
presence, as pertaining to the body as well as spirit 
of man, to the whole man, is to hold a mere brutal 
theory about man, and to make nugatory the efficacy 
of our Lord's incarnation. For the terms of the large 
promises of Jesus justify us in looking for, and assur- 
ing ourselves in, the presence and strength of our 
mighty Lord in all our work and labors, in which we 
aim at the welfare of the bodies of men. Moreover, 
the very fact that our Lord went up on high in our 
flesh, seems to show that that glorified body is still the 
sympathizing medium between " GOD manifest in 
the flesh," and frail humanity, in pains and misery. 

The form and mode in which power goes out from 
Jesus, is different now from what it was when men 
approached, and saw, and felt, and handled that aw- 
ful person; but the essence and the energy are the 

Our Lord, at the beginning of his ministry, de- 


clared : " The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because 
has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; 
he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted ; to preach 
deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to 
the blind ; to set at liberty them that are bruised. 

And ever since, not only until the Ascension, but 
all these two thousand years of the Christian era, Je- 
sus has been preaching the Gospel to the poor ; it is 
He -who, on Christian and on heathen ground, has 
been healing the broken-hearted ; He it is who has 
broken the fetter from the limbs of the captive and 
the slave, and proclaimed emancipation ; and it has 
been Jesus who, in multitudinous almshouses, asy- 
lums, infirmaries, and hospitals all over the globe, 
has healed the bruises, sores, and lacerations of men ; 
enabled physicians to give sight to the blind, and 
hearing to the ear ; made the lame to walk, and cured 
the dropsical and the paralytic. The loclihj presence 
of Jesus has not been here on earth ; but all curative 
influence, this restorative and healing power, came 
from the religion of Jesus, and is verily and indeed 
the work of our own gracious Lord. 

Thus again, the Redeemer after His Resurrection, 
when taking leave of His Apostles, declared : " All 
these signs shall follow them that believe : in my 
name shall they cast out devils ; they shall speak 
with new tongues ; they shall take up serpents ; and 
if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt 
them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they 
shall recover." Is there nothing in it for us in our 
work here save as reminiscence? Are men to receive 
these words in no other way than the literal ? Do 


you so magnify these undoubted miracles that when 
their distinct and characteristic marks vanish, the 
Church of God sinks to a lower and utterly diverse 
manifestation of Divine power, so that she is confined 
to the outward signs of miracles for her interpretation 
of these large and glorious promises ? And do their 
external, visible characteristics, sever us of these mod- 
ern times entirely from these mighty works of our 
Lord ? Or do you suppose that because the outward 
and visible sign of these wonders is denied us in this 
age, that therefore Christ is not still fulfilling the very 
same promise in this naughty world to the discom- 
fiture of sin and Satan ? Surely this is the last place 
in the world for any such unbelief. Here, or indeed 
anywhere else on heathen ground, where Satan has 
established his kingdom, but where the Holy Spirit 
has lifted up " an effectual banner " against him in 
Christian missions, we do indeed see " devils cast 
out ; " we see the sick reclaimed from feebleness 
through the renovating agencies of a new faith ; we 
see Christian converts outrunning, in all the respects 
of strength of virtue and intelligence, all their heathen 
kin ; we see a power scattering the darkness and dis- 
severance of thousands diverse and inferior tongues, 
and by Christian philosophy, and the energy and dif- 
fusion of the Christian English tongue, reverting the 
confusion of Babel into the harmony of goodly broth- 
erhood and love. If we cannot believe all this, are 
we prepared to attribute these gracious results to 
some other influence than Christ Jesus' ? Are we 
willing to believe that there is another power in this 
world besides that of JESUS to do good to the bodies 


and souls of men ? And is it indeed the case that 
Christians cannot have the faith that great as were 
the miracles of Christ, " that greater works than 
these "' were to be done by His people ? 

Surely none of us are prepared for such a conces- 
sion as this. While, indeed, granting that the age of 
miracles has departed, we claim that the gracious and 
saving power of Jesus is still the heritage of Christ's 
people. If the wonder-making phase of miracles has 
gone, their restorative and compassionate features 
are still continued by our Lord, in this sinful world. 
For Jesus Christ came upon earth, and took upon 
Him our flesh, for this very purpose of good and 
blessedness to man. lie came to touch man with a 
saving power, and therefore He took our bodily na- 
ture upon Him, not to touch and heal men for the 
brief period of His earthly stay among men, but unto 
the world's end ; and therefore, if we would trace to 
its source the beneficence which we see around us, 
in the restored bodies of men, we must recognize the 
healing power of our Lord still exerted for good, al- 
though it comes to us by the agency of our fellow- 
creatures, and is exerted through the art and skill and 
genius of man. When the woman in the Scriptures 
took hold of the garment of the Saviour, He instantly 
declared that " virtue had gone out of Him." The 
very touch sent forth healing efficacy. So now heal- 
ing still continues to go out from His body — His 
touch still works a curative influence. That glorious 
body on the right hand of the Father still gives forth 
a power to repair, a health and life-giving energy 
healing influence, to weak and wretched men. 


And it is thus, in one view, that Christianity con- 
tinues, even to our own day, a standing miracle. 
This miraculous power of the faith may be seen, I 
know, in other aspects ; but I wish now to fasten at- 
tention upon this one point, and claim for our blessed 
Lord a power which is all and peculiarly His own. 
Christ is the Healer of the nations ; directly, that is, 
in saving and sanctifying the sinful souls of wen ; in- 
directly, in healing and curing and restoring their 
bodies by the agencies of physicians, medicines, and 
hospitals. These are His miracles of love, those the 
miracles of evidence. 

6. And all this will appear yet more distinctly if 
you will notice the fact that such humane efforts as 
this of ours are specially Christian. It is the genius 
of Christianity which has produced the philanthropy 
of civilized countries. It is the spirit of Jesus' re- 
ligion which has prompted that high art, that marvel- 
lous skill, and those humane institutions by which, in 
all Christian lands, disease is conquered, life is length- 
ened out, and pain is neutralized. It is thus that 
Jesus' presence is felt in the world, even in matters 
physical and temporal. l\o other religion has ever 
prompted such generous benevolent skill, or thus pro- 
vided for the miserable and the outcast. On the 
banks of the Ganges the maimed and the decrepit 
are cast into the river as food for crocodiles. Pa^an 
and Mohammedan travellers through the deserts of 
Africa desert the sick and the diseased, and leave 
them to the tender mercies of the jackal or the tiger. 
The Indian in the western wilds of America casts out 
the emaciated and the helpless to the ravenous wolf 


without pity or remorse. We see here among the 
heathen, at times, the utter absence of sensibility or 
feeling for those, even relations or parents or children, 
who are suffering pain and agony, or who are sick 
unto death. Even in that religion of which Christian- 
ity is an offshoot, the religion of the Jews, although 
mercy and kindness are marked peculiarities, still we 
discover no special provisions for the sick ; no regu- 
lations for gathering them into lazar-houses and re- 
ceptacles. Indeed, the history of mankind shows that 
there is no natural tendency to humane and charita- 
ble deeds. The human heart, of itself, never origi- 
nates efforts and institutions of the kind we are origi- 
nating this day. It is not of man to assuage suffer- 
ing, to heal the sick, to save the miserable. It was 
left to the sublime and humane spirit of Christianity 
to start such works of mercy and such works of love. 
Jesus had to come into the world, and since His ad- 
vent the poor, the maimed, the wretched, the blind, 
and the deaf have been cared for. "Wherever His 
holy religion has been established, there hospitals, 
almshouses, and reformatory institutions have sprung 
up all over Christendom ; and the woes, and agonies, 
and wails of poor distressed humanity have been 
cared for. We claim, as we have the right to claim, 
that this is the work of our Lord. Xo matter what 
may be the agencies used in the conversion of men, 
or who may have been the ministers or teachers who 
led them to Christ, we deny the glory to these agents ; 
we claim that Jesus worked their spiritual restoration. 
So, in like manner with regard to all eleemosynary 
works and houses, though we recognize the zeal of 


warm-hearted men and gentle women, the large char- 
ities and the heroic self-sacrifice of fearless nurses and 
physicians, yet we claim all for Christ. This stream 
of pitifulness for the suffering has its rise in the mer- 
ciful bosom of our own risen and glorified Lord. All 
the philanthropy of this world, whether flowing in 
legitimate or indirect channels, has been prompted 
by and caught up from this precious faith of Jesus. 
Whether men reclaim the drunkard, or free th% poor 
slave, or give sight to the blind or hearing to the 
deaf, or rectify fractured limbs, they learned it all in 
the school of Christ. The religion of Jesus is the 
only one which cares for both body and soul. WJier- 
ever, in its practical workings, there is a forgetfulness 
or neglect of either of these portions of our humanity, 
there Christianity appears misshapen, one-sided, de- 
formed ; neither do her advocates gain any real ad- 
vantage for her by excessive devotedness to one por- 
tion of man which is purchased by neglect of the 
other ; indeed, that is a mere mockery of the spirit of 
Christ, which, while pretending solicitude for the 
spirit of man, is at the same time indifferent to his 
temporal estate. The religion of Jesus is a religion 
which lays hold of both body and soul for time and 
for eternity. And though Jesus has gone upon high, 
still He ever liveth. He is ever present in his Church 
for good and blessedness for the whole, entire, com- 
pact being of man, one and undivided — the undying 
spirit, and the mortal frame, which at the resurrection 
is to be clothed upon with immortality. 

7. We bless God for the holy religion of Jesus, 
which He has revealed to man. We bless Him for 


all the gracious fruits and the saving influences which 
proceed from this religion. "We bless Him for the 
new spirit which it has spread abroad in this sinful 
world, for the lofty principles by which it strengthens 
the will of man, and for the noble deeds to which it 
has given birth. We bless Him for all the benevolent 
institutions which He has started into being, in all 
the fields of its victory and triumph. We bless Him 
for all the Christian houses, hospitals, homes for little 
orphan children, refuges, reformatories, houses of mer- 
cy, and asylums, into which have been gathered the 
sick and the emaciated all over the globe, in all the 
ages of the Faith. AVe bless Him for all the generous 
enterprises which the Christian religion has started 
into being for the bodily relief and the temporal wel- 
fare of our fellow-creature. We bless Him for all the 
philanthropic schemes by which the drunkard is made 
sober and saved, the outcast Magdalen is made pure 
in both body and soul, the poor slave is emancipated 
and becomes a man, the leper is cared for, and his 
sorrow and desolation mitigated, the prisoner is blessed, 
the sailor rescued, and the crippled and the diseased 
are cured. 

And while indeed " holding the Head," even the 
Lord Jesus, as the fountain of all bodily as well as all 
spiritual good to man, we bless God, also, for all the 
noble men and women who in all the ages of Chris- 
tianity have drank in fully the spirit of our common 
Master, and have gone about among widows and or- 
phans, among the sick and the diseased, the blind, 
the lame, and the deaf, imitating the Lord's example, 
" doing good to men." Blessed and merciful spirits I 


ye who are yet on the shores of time, still diligent in 
saving deeds and holy charities ; or, ye more lofty 
ones, reaping the fruition of yonr goodly service for 
men on the far-off shores of blessedness and glory ; 
we hail and salute you as among the best benefactors 
of your kind, as the faithful ministers of grace and 
restoration to afflicted men ! 

"With this goodly company we are happy to asso- 
ciate this day our reverend brother* who projected 
this work, and who, by God's favor and the aid of 
generous friends, has been enabled to bring it to this 
favorable point. We thank God for the grace thus 
freely given him for us; "for He loveth our^- nation 
and builds " us an hospital. Other things add to the 
gladness of this ceremony. We are happy in the oc- 
casion which assembles us together. This is St. 
Mark's day, and our Church calls upon us to com- 
memorate that eminent evangelist and saint, who laid 
the first foundations of the Church in Africa, and 
who is believed to have moistened its soil with a 
martyr's blood. In what more befitting manner could 
we keep the day than this ? 

"We are happy in the selection of the spot from 
which, *in fair proportions, is to rise this house of 
healing and of mercy. Here, amid pure, untainted, 
and healthful breezes, the invalid may gain strength 
to his body and revive hope to his sinking heart. 

* St. Mark's Hospital was planned and projected by the Rev. C. C. 
Hoffman, of New York City, missionary of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church at Cape Palmas, Liberia, and the building has been carried on, 
and approaches completion, under his superintendence, and through his 
zeal and labors. 


Here this house will stand a prominent object, and be 
seen from afar on the ocean, greeting the eye of the 
sick sailor or the timid, tremulous emigrant, assuring 
both that, although they approach the shores of 
Africa, yet the religion of Jesus here, as everywhere 
else, mitigates the pestilence, heals the sick and the 
diseased, comforts the miserable and the outcast, and 
is full of healing, consolation, and of love ! " May 
the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and es- 
tablish Thou the work of our hands upon us ; yea, the 
work of our hands establish Thou it ! " 



Addressed to Mr. Charles B. Dunbar, M. D., formerly of New York City, 
but now a citizen of Liberia. 

"It is in Africa that this evil must be rooted out — by African hands 
and African exertions chiefly that it -can be destroyed." 

— McQueen — View of Northern Central Africa. 

" "We may live to behold the nations of Africa engaged in the calm 
occupations of industry, and in the pursuit of a just and legitimate com- 
merce ; we may behold the beams of science and philosophy breaking in 
upon their land, which at some happier period, in still later times, may 
blaze with full lustre, and joining their influence to that of pure reli- 
gion, may illuminate and invigorate the most distant extremities of that 
immense continent." — Wm. Pitt. 


• >> 

HiGn ScnooL, Mt. Vaugiian, Cape Palmas, ) 
Liberia, 1st Sept., 1860. J 

My Dear Sm : It is now many months since I 
received a letter from you, just as you were about 
sailing from our shores for your home. In that note 
you requested me to address you a letter setting forth 
my views concerning Liberia, suggesting, at the same 
time, that such a letter might prove interesting to 
many of our old friends and schoolmates in New 
York. I have not forgotten your request, although I 
have not heretofore complied with it. Though con- 
vinced of the need and possible usefulness of such a 
letter as you asked from me, I have shrunk from a 
compliance with your request. Not to mention other 
grounds of reluctance, let me say here that I have 
felt it a venturesome thing to address four hundred 
thousand men ; albeit it be indirectly through you. 
Neither my name, position, nor any personal qualities 
give me authority thus to do. The only excuse I 
have is the depth and solemnity of all questions con- 


nected with Africa. I see that no one else of our 
race has done it ; perhaps I may be pardoned for as- 
suming so great a task. 

I may add here that I address the " Free Colored 
Men of America," because I am identified with them ; 
and not because I feel that they, especially, and above 
all the other sons of Africa, in distant lands, are 
called upon for zeal and interest in her behalf. It is 
the exaggeration of the relation of American black 
men to Africa, which has turned the hearts of many 
of her own children from her. Your duties, in this 
respect, are no greater than those of our "West Indian, 
Haytian, and eventually 'our Brazilian brethren. 
"Whatever in this letter applies to our brethren in the 
United States, applies in an equal degree to them. 
But I am not the man to address them. I fear I 'pre- 
sume even in writing this letter to American black 
men, and have only just now concluded to do so by 
the encouragement I have received in two pleasant 
interviews with Mr. Campbell and Dr. Delany. 

And even now it is with doubt and diffidence that 
I conclude to send you this communication. My re- 
luctancy has arisen chiefly from a consideration of the 
claim put forth by leading colored men in the United 
States, to the effect " that it is unjust to disturb their 
residence in the land of their birth by a continual call 
to go to Africa." This claim is, in my opinion, a 
most just one. Three centuries' residence in a country 
seems clearly to give any people a right to their na- 
tionality therein without disturbance. Our brethren 
in America have other claims besides this ; they have 
made large contributions to the clearing of their 


country ; they have contributed by sweat and toil to 
the wealth thereof; and by their prowess and their 
blood they have participated in the achievement of 
its liberties. But their master right lies in the fact 
that they are Christians ; and one will have to find 
some new page and appendage to the Bible, to get 
the warrant for Christians to repel and expatriate 
Christians, on account of blood, or race, or color. In 
fact, it seems to me a most serious thing to wantonly 
trench upon rights thus solemnly and providentially 
guaranteed a people, that is, by a constant, ceaseless, 
fretting iteration of a repelling sentiment. 

Of course I do not intend any thing akin to this in 
my letter. I would not insult the intellect and con- 
science of any colored man who thinks it his duty to 
labor for his race on American soil, by telling him. 
that it is his duty to come to Africa. If he is edu- 
cated up to the ideas of responsibility and obligation, 
he knows his duty better than I do. And, indeed, 
generally, it is best to leave individuals to themselves 
as to the details of obligation and responsibility. 

" The primal duties shine aloft like stars " ; — and 
it is only when men v:lll not see them, that we are 
bound to repeat and re-utter them, until the souls of 
men are aroused, and they are moved to moral resolu- 
tion and to noble actions. But as to the mode, form, 
and manner of meeting their duties, let the common 
sense of every man decide it for himself. 

My object in writing this letter is not to vex any 

of oar brethren by the iteration of the falsehood that 

America is not their home, nor by the misty theory 

" that they will all yet have to come to Liberia." I 

" 10 


do not even intend to invite any one to Liberia, glad 
as I would be to see around me many of the wise and 
sterling men I know in the United States, who would 
be real acquisitions to this nation, and as much as I 
covet their society. I am not putting in a plea for 
colonization. My object is quite different ; in fact it 
is not a strict compliance with the terms of your let- 
ter, for I shall have but little to say about Liberia. 
But believing that oil men hold some relation to the 
land of their fathers, I wish to call the attention of the 
sons of Africa in America to their " Relations and 
Duty to the Laxd of their Fathers." 

And even on such a theme I know I must prepare 
myself for the rebuff from many — " Why talk to us 
of fatherland ? What have we to do with Africa ? 
We are not Africans ; we are Americans. You ask 
no peculiar interest on the part of Germans, English- 
men, the Scotch, the Irish, the Dutch, in the land of 
their fathers, why then do you ask it of us ? " 

Alas for us, as a race ! so deeply harmed have we 
been by oppression that we have lost the force of 
strong, native principles, and prime natural affections. 
Because exaggerated contempt has been poured upon 
us, we too become apt pupils in the school of scorn 
and contumely. Because repudiation of the black 
man has been for centuries the wont of civilized na- 
tions, black men themselves get shame at their origin 
and shrink from the terms which indicate it. 

Sad as this is, it is not to be wondered at. ; * Op- 
presssion " not only " makes a wise man mad,'' it 
robs him also of his self-respect. And this is our 
loss ; but having emerged from slavery, it is our durv 


to cast off its grave-clothes and resist its deadly in- 

Our ancestors were unfortunate, miserable, and be- 
nighted ; but nothing more. Their history was a his- 
tory, not of ignominy and disgrace, but of heathenism 
and benightedness. And even in that state they ex- 
hibited a nobleness of native character, they cherished 
such virtues, and manifested so much manliness and 
bravery, that the civilized world is now magnanimous 
enough to recognize such traits ; and its greatest men 
are free to render their warm eulosric 

When then colored men question the duty of in- 
terest in Africa, because they are not Africans, I beg 
to remind them of the kindred duty of self-respect. 
And my reply to such queries as I have mentioned 
above is this : 1. That there is no need of asking 
the interest of Englishmen, Germans, Dutchmen and 
others in the land of their fathers, because they have 
this interest, and are always proud to cherish it. 
And 2d. I remark that the abject state of Africa is a 
most real and touching appeal to any heart for sym- 
pathy and aid. It is an appeal, however, which 
comes with a double force to every civilized man who 
has negro blood flowing in his veins. 

Africa lies low and is wretched. She is the 
maimed and crippled arm of humanity. Her great 
powers are wasted. Dislocation and anguish have 
reached every joint. Her condition in every point 

* For a most able and discriminating article upon this topic, see 
" Westminster Review," January 7, 1842, Art., Dr. Arnold. : 
those humane and truthful Essays of ilr. Heaps — '• Friends in Coun- 
cil," vol. 2. 



calls for succor — moral, social, domestic, political, 
commercial, and intellectual. "Whence shall flow aid, 
mercy, advantage to her? Here arises the call of 
duty and obligation to colored men. Other people 
may, if they choose, forget the homes of their sires ; 
for almost every European nation is now reaping the 
fruits of a thousand years' civilization. Every one of 
them can spare thousands and even millions of their 
sons to build up civilization in Australia, Canada, 
Xew Zealand, South Africa, or Victoria. But Africa 
is the victim of her heterogeneous idolatries. Africa 
is wasting away beneath the accretions of civil and 
moral miseries. Darkness covers the land, and gross 
darkness the people. Great social evils universally 
prevail. Confidence and security are destroyed. Li- 
centiousness abounds everywhere. Moloch rules and 
reigns throughout the whole continent, and by the 
ordeal of Sassy wood, Fetiches, human sacrifices, and 
devil-worship, is devouring men, women, and little 
children. They have not the Gospel. They are liv- 
ing without God. The Cross has never met their 
gaze, and its consolations have never entered their 
hearts, nor its everlasting truths cheered their deaths. 

And all this only epitomizes the miseries of 
Africa, for it would take a volume to detail and enu- 
merate them. But this is sufficient to convince any 
son of Africa that the land of our fathers is in great 
spiritual need, and that those of her sons who haply 
have ability to aid in her restoration will show mercy 
to her, and perform an act of filial love and tender- 
ness which is but their " reasonable service." 

I have two objects in view in addressing you this 


letter : one relates to the temporal, material interests 
of adventurous, enterprising colored men ; and the 
other pertains to the best and most abiding interests 
of the million masses of heathen on this continent — I 
mean their evangelization. 

First, I am to speak with reference to the temporal 
and material interests of adventurous, enterprising 
and aspiring men in the United States of America. 
I wish to bring before such persons reasons why they 
should feel interest in Africa. These reasons are not, 
I am free to confess, directly and distinctively philan- 
thropic ; although I do, indeed, aim at human well- 
being through their force and influence. But I ap- 
peal now more especially to the hopes, desires, ambi- 
tion, and aspirations of such men. I am referring to 
that sentiment of self-regard which prompts to noble 
exertions for support and superiority. I am aiming 
at that principle of self-love which spurs men on to 
self-advantage and self-aggrandizement — a principle 
which, in its normal state and in its due degree, to use 
the words of Butler, " is as just and morally good as 
any affection whatever." In fine, I address myself to 
all that class of sentiments in the human heart which 
creates a thirst for wealth, position, honor, and power. 
I desire the auxiliary aid of this class of persons, and 
class of motives, for it is such influences and 
agencies which are calculated to advance the materia] 
growth of Africa. She needs skill, enterprise, energy, 
worldly talent, to raise her ; and these applied here 
to her needs and circumstances, will prove the hand- 
maid of religion, and will serve the great pur] < 
civilization and enlightenment through all her bore 


There seems to me to be a natural call upon the 
children of Africa in foreign lands to come and parti- 
cipate in the opening treasures of the land of their 
fathers. Though these treasures are the manifest gift 
of God to the negro race, jet that race reaps but the 
most partial measure of their good and advantage. 
It has always been thus in the past, and now as the 
resources of Africa are being more and more devel- 
oped, the extent of our interest therein is becoming 
more and more diminutive. The slave-trade is inter- 
dicted throughout Christendom ; the chief powers of 
earth have put a lien upon the system of slavery ; in- 
terest and research in Africa' have reached a state of 
intensity ; mystery has been banished from some of 
her most secret quarters ; sunlight, after ages of dark- 
ness, has burst in upon the charmed regions of her 
wealth and value ; and yet the negro, on his native 
soil, is but " a hewer of wood and drawer of water " ; 
and the sons of Africa in foreign lands, inane and 
blinded, suffer the adventurous foreigner, with greed 
and glut, to jostle them aside, and to seize with skill 
and effect upon their own rightful inheritance. 

For three centuries and upwards, the civilized na- 
tions of the earth have been engaged in African com- 
merce. Traffic on the coast of Africa anticipated the 
discoveries of Columbus. From Africa the purest 
gold got its characteristic three hundred years ago. 
From Africa dyes of the greatest value have been 
carried to the great manufacturing marts of the world. 
From Africa palm oil is exported by thousands of 
tons ; and now, as the observant eye of commerce is 
becoming more and more fastened upon this con- 


tinent, grain, gums, oils of clivers kinds, valuable 
woods, copper and other ore, are being borne from the 
soil to meet the clamorous demands of distant marts. 

The chief item of commerce in this continent has 
been the " slave-trade." The coast of Africa has been 
more noted for this than for any thing else. Ever 
since 1600, the civilized nations of the earth have 
been transporting in deadly holds, in poisonous and 
pestilential cabins, in " perfidious barks," millions of 
our race to foreign lands, This trade is now almost 
universally regarded as criminal ; but in the light of 
commercial prudence and pecuniary advantage, the 
slave-trade was as great a piece of folly as it was a 
crime ; for almost beneath their eyes, yea, doubtless, 
often immediately in their sight, were lying treas- 
ures, rivalling far the market value of the flesh and 
blood they had been so eager to crowd beneath their 

Africa is as rich in resources as India is ; not as 
yet as valuable in products, because she is more un- 
enlightened and has a less skilful population. But so 
far as it respects mineral and vegetable capacity, there 
seems to me but little, if any, doubt that Africa more 
than rivals the most productive lands on the globe. 

Let me set before you, though briefly, some of the 
valuable articles of West African trade. I must re- 
mind you, however, of three things : First, that the 
soil, the rocks, and the flora of Africa have not had 
the advantage of scientific scrutiny, and as a conse- 
quence but little is known as yet of her real worth 
and wealth in these respects. Second, that West 
African trade is only in a nascent state — that it conies 



from but a slight fringe of the coast, while the rich 
interior yields, as yet, but a reluctant hold upon the 
vast and various treasures it possesses. And third, 
that such is the mysterious secrecy American and 
English houses retain and enjoin upon this subject, 
that even approximation to the facts of the case is re- 
mote and distant. 

The following table is an attempt to classify valu- 
able products and articles of present trade. Nearly 
every article mentioned has come under my own per- 
sonal inspection ; the exceptions are not over a dozen 
and a half : 


Dyes and Dyewood. 

Gums and Wax. 


Palm Nut. 




Ground Nut. 


Grove Tree. 


Cocoa Nut. 


India Rubber. 


Cola Nut. 

Christmas nut. 

Gutta Percha. 


Castor Nut. 

And divers otl 

l- Copal. 


er colors, blue 

>, Mastic. 


red, yellow, and Senegal. 





















Tan yah. 











Mango Plums. 
Alligator Pear. 
Bread Nut. 





Special articles con- 
nected with trade 
and domestic use. 




Lignum Vita). 



Mango Perch, 



G ripper. 















I cannot dismiss these tables without a few re- 
marks relative to some few prominent items they enu- 
merate ; I mean the Palm Nut and Oil, Cotton, In- 

dian Corn, and Sugar- Cane. 

Palm: Oil. — This article, more than any other 
AVest African product, shows the rapidity with which 
legitimate commerce has sprung up on the coast of 
Africa. A few years ago palm oil was an insignifi- 
cant item in the coast trade.* Now it is an article 
which commands whole fleets of sailing vessels, seeks 
the auxiliary aid of steamers, and affects most power- 
fully the commerce of England, France,' and the 
United States. 

I copy several items pertaining to this export from 

* In 1808, the quantity imported into England ^Yas only 200 (two 
hundred) toii3. 



a report of a former acquaintance and correspondent, 
the late Mr. Consul Campbell, of Lagos. The report, 
as will be seen, includes several other items besides 
palm oil, and it refers exclusively to Lagos. 



13,097 casks of Palm Oil, 

4,942 tons, 


1,053 Elephant Tusks, 

24,118 lbs., 


868 bales of Cotton, 

114,848 lbs., 


50,000 native Cotton Cloths, 25,000 

Total value of exports from Lagos, £255,200 

Palm Oil— 

From the Benin Eiver, 2,650 tons, 

Palma, 3,250 

Badagry, 1,250 

Porto Xovo, Appi, Vista, &c, 4,500 
Whydah, 2,500 

Ahguay and neighboring ports, 2,500 

16,650 tons, £732,600 
150,000 country Cloths of native manu- 
facture from above ports, 75,000 


Of the above productions there was shipped from 
Lagos in the year — 




Palm Oil, 

3,884 tons. 

4,942 tons. 

1,058 tons. 


16,057 lbs. 

24.118 lbs. 

8,061 lbs. 


34,491 lbs. 

114,844 lbs. 

81,353 lbs. 

Palm Oil from other ports — 

1 ; "7. Increase. 

Benin River, 2,500 tons. 2,650 tons. 150 tons. 

Palma, 2,250 " .'.•250 " 1,000 " 

Badagiy, 1,250 " 1,250 " 

Porto Novo, &c, 4,000 " 4,500 " 500 " 

Whydah, 2,500 " 2,500 " 

Ahguay, &0., 1,800 " 2,500 " 700 " 

14,300 tons. 1G,G50 tons. 2,350 tons. 
From Lagos, 3,884 " 4,942 " 1,058 " 

Total shipment in 1857, 21,592 tons. 3,408 tons. 

The export of Oil and Xuts from Sierra Leone : 


1850, 285,032 gallons, 



















Total, 2,118,985 gallons, equal to 6,835 tons. 
Custom House, Sierra Leone, 18th February, 1857. 

Port of Freetown, Sierra Leone. 


1850, 4,096 bushels, 

















90. 2 


Total, 264,516V bushels, equal to 6,612 tons. 
Customs, Sierra Leone, 30th January, 1857. 


I have no reliable information of the amount of 
oil exported at the present ; but I do not think I shall 
be far from the point of accuracy, if I put it down at 
60,000 tons, which, at the probable value of £45 per 
ton, equals £2,700,000. 

Cotton. — Next to palm oil, cotton is now com- 
manding more attention than any other article. The 
interesting fact with regard to this staple is that it 
excites as much interest in Africa as it does in Eng- 
land and America. There are few things in the his- 
tory of trade more important, more interesting, mor- 
ally as well as commercially, than the impetus which 
has recently been given to the growth of cotton. 

In 185—, Mr. Consul Campbell made a statement 
of the probable amount of cotton exported from "West 
Africa. I have to rely upon my memory for the 
items of that statement ; and, if I mistake not, he 
stated that the people of Abbeokuta exported nigh 
200,000 country cloths annually. These cloths are 
purchased for transportation to Brazil, where there 
are thousands of African slaves who still dress in the 
same style as when at their homes. He supposed 
that full 200,000 country cloths were manufactured 
for home use, which would make the probable num- 
ber manufactured in Africa, 400,000. And he calcu- 
lated 2| lbs. as the average weight of each country 
cloth ;— and 400,000 x 2| = 1,000,000 lbs. of cotton 
manufactured by the natives of interior Africa, in one 
locality, that is, Yoruba. Doubtless as much more is 
allowed to grow and run to waste unused. 

Now these facts, to a partial extent, were well 


known in Liberia, for our merchants are accustomed 
to purchasing " country cloths," as they are called, 
and selling them to foreign traders ; hut Consul 
Campbell's statements far exceed any realities we 
have ever thought of, and show that interior Africa is 
as great a field for the production of cotton as Amer- 
ica or India. 

Sugar-Cane. — To what extent West Africa is to 
become a sugar-producing country it is difficult to 
conjecture. Many, doubtless, have grave doubts 
whether this will ever be the case ; for my own part 
I have no misgivings upon the point, that is, its capa- 
bility of becoming a great sugar-producing country. 
The natives grow it in all the country about Cape 
Palmas, and frequently bring cane to the American 
settlements for sale. With some small encourage- 
ment, and a little stimulus, it could easily be made a 
staple here. My opinions have been strengthened by 
some observations made in a recent missionary tour. 
I found cane but little inferior to that grown on the 
St. Paul's River, growing in nearly all the towns and 
villages through which I passed, forty, fifty, and 
sixty miles in the interior. On inquiry, I learned 
that it is grown by the natives in the interior two 
hundred miles back. Dr. Livingstone, in his journal, 
states a like fact concerning the natives in South 

What a germ have we here for systematic labor, 

* Dr. Livingstone saw the cane growing, in his tour through South 
Africa. It u more than probable that that cano is indigenous to both 
West and South Africa. 


plodding industry, the proper direction of the acquis- 
itive principle, and thereby of civilization and Chris- 
tianity, if only a company of right-minded men were 
settled on the Cavalla, prepared for the production 
of sugar, willing to stimulate the native energy, 
and at the same time to uplift and enlighten the 
heathen ! 

Maize. — What is the case respecting sugar-cane, 
equally pertains to corn. It is grown plenteously 
and extensively in "West Africa. On the Cavalla 
river it is planted with rice, and I am told that in the 
gathering season hundreds of- bushels of corn are left 
by the natives untouched in their fields. In some 
cases American colonists have gone and gathered 
quantities of it without any payment. Here, then, 
with an enterprising settlement, corn could be ob- 
tained as an export. The natives, if encouraged, 
might easily be made vast and extensive com-srow- 
ers. This has already taken place on the Gold Coast. 
Several cargoes of corn were exported thence in 1S59 
to England. 

As with the palm oil, so with maize, sugar-cane, and 
cotton ; civilized men could, with but little difficulty, 
increase the cultivation of these articles among the 
natives, and ship them to traders to their own advan- 
tage. And this process is the great secret of West 
African trade : the foreign merchant, by his goods, 
excites the cupidity of the simple native, who at Fer- 
nando Po brings him barwood ; at St. Paul, Lo- 
anda, beeswax ; at Congo, copal and gutta percha ; 
at Accra, maize ; at Calabar, black ebony wood ; 


at Bonny and Lagos, palm oil ; at Bassa, (Liberia,) 
camwood ; at Lagos, cotton ; at Tantamcjuerry and 
Gambia, ground nuts and pepper ; at Sierra Leone, 
nearly all kinds of African produce ; at Elmina, Cape 

tat, Accra, and Bassam, gold. By this multiform 
traffic, yet, be it remembered, in its infancy, and ca- 
pable of being increased a thousand fold, millions of 
dollars are being made every year on the coast of 

Now all this flows into the coffers of white men. 
I mean nothing invidious by this. I state a fact, and 
am utterly unconscious of any unworthy or ungenerous 
feeling in stating it. " The earth is the Lord's, and 
the fulness thereof;" and this "fulness" He has 
given to max, irrespective of race or color. The main 
condition of tjie obtainment of it is intelligence, fore- 
cast, skill, and enterjDrise. If the black man — the 
black man, I mean, civilized and enlightened — has 
lying before him a golden heritage, and fails to seize 
upon and to appropriate it, Providence none the less 
intends it to be seized upon and wills it to be used. 
And if the white man, with a keen eye, a cunning 
hand, and a wise practicalness, is enabled to appro- 
priate it with skill and effect, it is his ; God gives it 
to him, and he has a right to seek and to search for a 
multiplication of it, and when he secures it a right to 
the use of it, responsible, however, both to God and 
man for the use of right means to the ends he has be- 
fore him, and for the moral features of his traffic. 

But while conceding that the white man has, in 
the main, fairly won the present trade of Africa, 1 
cannot but lament our non-participation therein ; for 


the larger advantages of it go to Europe and Amer- 
ica, and help to swell the broad stream of their 
wealth, luxury, and refinement. And how deep and 
broad and mighty is that stream is shown by two 
facts : 1st, That England, France, and the United 
States -expend annually more than a million and a 
half of dollars for the protection of trade on this 
coast.* And 2d, That the coast swarms with white 
men, using all possible means and contrivances to 
open trade into the interior. To this one single end, 
an immense amount of capital is spent by great 
mercantile houses, in England, France, and America. 
One single house in Liverpool employs such a fleet 
of trading vessels that it is necessitated to keep a resi- 
dent physician at the mouth of one of our great rivers 
for the benefit of their captains and sailors. " A 
single merchant now living, in the course of three or 
four years, has spent more than $100,000 in explor- 
ing the rivers and creeks of Western Africa, merely 
to ascertain the extent of her commercial relations." f 
While I am writing these pages, I receive the infor- 
mation that one of the great Liverpool houses has 
just sent out a small steamer to the bights, to collect 
the oil for their trading vessels. Simultaneously with 
this intelligence, I am advised that a number of 
agents are employed by English capitalists to visit 
the towns from Lagos to Abbeokuta, and to leave 
with their chiefs small bags of cotton seed for the 
growth of cotton. And but a few months ago we 

* I do not pretend to accuracy in this statement ; the expenditure of 
Great Britain was, in 184- £231,000. * 

f Wilson's "Western Africa," p. 521. 


hailed in our roads a little fairy craft — the " Sun- 
beam," steamer sent out by " Laird and Company " 
for the Niger trade ; and since then I have heard of 
two of her trips, four hundred miles up that mighty 
river, bringing thence valuable cargoes for the facto- 
ries which are now established three hundred miles 
up on its banks. 

And now perhaps you ask — " How shall the chil- 
dren of Africa, sojourning in foreign lands, avail 
themselves of the treasures of this continent ? " I 
answer briefly, " In the same way white men do." 
They have pointed out the way, let us follow in the 
same track, and in the use of the like (legitimate) 
agencies by which trade is facilitated and money is 
made by them. 

Perhaps this is too general, let me therefore at- 
tempt something more specific and distinctive. 

First, then, I remark that if individuals are un- 
able to enter upon a trading system, they can form 
associations. If one has not sufficient capital, four or 
six united can make a good beginning. If a few per- 
sons cannot make the venture, then a company can 
be formed. It was in this way the first attempts at 
trading were made by the Dutch and the English, 
both in India and Africa. A few men associated 
themselves together, and sent out their agent or 
agents, and started a factory. And from such hum- 
ble beginnings, in the 17th century, has arisen that 
magnificent Indian Empire, which has helped to 
swell the vast wealth and the cumbrous capital of 
England, from whose arena have come forth such 
splendid and colossal characters as dive, and Wei- 


lington, and Metcalf, and the Laurences, and Have- 
lock ; and which has furnished the Church of Christ a 
field on which to display the apostolic virtues and 
the primitive self-sacrifice of Middleton and Heber, 
and Wilson, of Henry Marty n, of Fox, and Ragland. 
Without doubt God designs as great things as 
these for Africa, and among the means and agencies 
He will employ, commercial enterprise is most cer- 
tainly one. To this end, however, high souls and 
lofty resolves are necessary, as in any other vocation 
of life. Of course the timid, the over-cautious, the 
fearful — men in whose constitution Faith is a needed 
quality, are not fitted for this service. If ever the 
epoch of negro civilization is brought about in Africa, 
whatever external influences mav be brought to bear 
upon this end, whatever foreign agencies and aids, 
black men themselves are without doubt to be the 
chief instruments. But they are to be men of force 
and energy ; men who will not sutler themselves to 
be outri vailed in enterprise and vigor ; men who are 
prepared for pains, and want, and suffering ; men of 
such invincible courage that the spirit cannot be 
tamed by transient failures, incidental misadventure, 
or even oiarins* miscalculations : men who can exaa;- 
gerate the feeblest resources into potent agencies and 
fruitful capital. Moreover, these men are to have 
strong moral proclivities, equal to the deep penetra- 
tion and the unyielding tenacity of their minds. Xo 
greater curse could be entailed upon Africa than the 
sudden appearance upon her shores of a mighty host 
of heartless black buccaneers, (for such indeed they 
would prove themselves,) men sharpened up by let- 


ters and training, filled with feverish greed, with 
hearts utterly alien from moral good and human well- 
being, and only regarding Africa as a convenient 
gold-lield from which to extract emolument and 
treasure to carry off to foreign quarters. 

Such men would only reproduce the worst evils 
of the last three sad centuries of Africa's history ; and 
quickly and inevitably so soil their character that the 
just imputation would be fastened upon them of that 
* malignant lie which has recently been spread abroad 
through Europe and America against us : that is, of 
complicity with the slave trade. * 

* Nothing can be more judicious than the following words of Com- 
mander Foote: — " Let then the black man be judged fairly, and not pre- 
sumed to have become all at once and by miracle, of a higher order than 
old historic nations, through many generations of whom the political or- 
ganization of the world has been slowly developing itself. There will 
be among them men who are covetous, or men who are tyrannical, or 
men who would sacrifice public interests, or any others to their own ; 
men who would now go into the slave trade if they could, or rob hen 
roosts, or intrigue for office, or pick pockets, rather than trouble their 
heads or their hands with more honorable occupations. It should be 
remembered by visitors that such things will be found in Liberia ; not 
because men are black, but because men are men." — Africa and tiie 
Americas Flag, p. 20G. 

It is most encouraging to find ever and anon a writer who, in speak- 
ing of colored men, avoids the exaggeration of them either into demi-gods 
or monkeys. Even Commander Foote well nigh loses his balance, on 
the same page whence the above just sentence is taken. In the para- 
graph which immediately follows this extract, he gives expression to 
opinions sweepingly disparaging to the negro race, and not of certain 
historical accuracy. Commander Foote says : — " No negro has done any- 
thing to lighten or brighten the links of human policy.'''' Such a broad 

:tion implies that the writer has cleared up all the mysteries of past 
history; but upon the point, that is, " the relation of Egypt to the negro 
race," though still a disputed question — yet, with such authorities on our 


Happily for Africa, most of the yearnings of her 
sons towards her are gentle, humane, and generous. 
When the commercial one shall show itself, it will 
not differ, I feel assured, from all the others her chil- 
dren have showed. God grant that it may soon burst 
from many warm and energetic hearts, for the rescue 
of a continent ! 

Secoxd. I proceed to show that the whole coast 
offers facilities for adventurous traders. There are 
few, if any, localities but where they can set up their 
factories and commence business. If there are ex- 
ceptions they are rare ; and even then, not really such, 
but cases where at some previous time the natives 
have been so basely and knavishly treated, that they 
themselves have learned to practise the same upon 
some hapless, unsuspecting captain and his crew. As 
a general thing, however, native African chiefs court 
and invite the residence of a trader in their neighbor- 
hood, will give him protection, and will strive to secure 
his permanent stay. On our Liberian coast we see 
the proof of this in the many factories in existence at 
divers points. I have myself seen mere boys — young- 
side as Dr. Pritchard, Cardinal Wiseman, and that ripe scholar, the late 
Alexander H. Everett, one* would have supposed Commander Foote 
would have been a little less venturesome. Moreover, I beg to say that 
Touissant L'Ouverture is an historical character. Goodwix, in his 
lectures on colonial slavery, says: — "Can the West India Islands, since 
their first discovery by Columbus, boast a single name which deserves 
comparison with that of Touissant L'Ouverture ? " Read Harriet Mar- 
tineau's "Hour and the Man"; Wordsworth's fine Sonnet addressed to 
"Touissant in prison"; and the noble Poem of John G. Whittier, on 
the same theme ; and then compare the opinions of these high names 
with Commander Foote's broad assertions. 


Englishmen, not of age — who have come out to this 
country seeking their fortunes, living on the coast in 
native towns, without any civilized companionship, 
and carrying on a thriving trade. The chiefs have 
an interest in these men, and therefore make their 
residence safe and comfortable. The trader's presence 
and barter give the king, or head man, importance, 
increase his wealth, augment his influence in the 
neighborhood, swell the population of his town, and 
thus make it the centre or capital of the surrounding 
region. But even if it were not thus, the security of 
traders is insured by the felt power of the three great 
nations of the civilized world. Such and so great is 
the naval force of England, France, and America on 
this coast, that the coast may be regarded as protect- 
ed. The native chiefs, for many hundred miles, have 
been taught to fear the destructive instruments of 
war they carry with them, and nowadays but sel- 
dom give occasion for their use. 

But aside from all this, I may remark here, 1st, 
that of all rude, and uncivilized men, the native Afri- 
can is the mildest and most gentle ; and 2d, that no 
people in the world are so given to trade and barter 
as the negroes of the western coast of Africa. 

Thirdly. Let me refer to tlfle means and facilities 
colored men have for an entrance upon African com- 
merce. And 1st, I would point out the large amount 
of capital which is lying in their hands, dead and un- 
productive. There is, as you are doubtless aware, no 
Bmall amount of wealth possessed by the free colored 
population of the United States, both JSorth and 
South. Notwithstanding the multitudinous diliicul- 


ties which beset them in the way of improvement, 
our brethren have shown capacity, perseverance, 
oftentimes thrift and acquisitiveness. As a conse- 
quence they are, all over the Union, owners of houses, 
farms, homesteads, and divers other kinds of prop- 
erty ; and, stored away in safe quarters, they have 
large amounts of gold and silver deep down in large 
stockings, in the corners of old chests, in dark and 
undiscoverable nooks and crannies, besides large sums 
invested in banks, and locked up in the safes of city 
savings banks. 

I have no statistics by me of the population and 
property of the colored people of Cincinnati, but I 
am told that their wealth exceeds that of the same 
class, in any other city in the American Union — that 
is, according to their numbers. Xashville, Tenn., 
Charleston, S.-C., St. Louis, Mo., Mobile and Xew 
Orleans, stand in nearly the same category. Balti- 
more holds a respectable position. In the " "Weekly 
Anglo-African," (September, 1859), I find that the 
chtjech peopektt of the colored population in Phila- 
delphia is put down at 8231,484. Doubtless their per- 
sonal real estate must be worth millions. And the 
same must be true of ]S~ew York City. 

The greater porfion of their wealth, however, is 
unproductive. As a people we have been victimized 
in a pecuniary point of view, as well as morally and 
politically ; and, as a consequence, there is an almost 
universal dread of intrusting our moneys in the hands 
of capitalists, and trading companies, and stock ; 
though in the great cities large sums are put in 
savings banks. There are few, however, who have 


the courage to take shares in railroad and similar 
companies, and in many places it could not "be done. 

There is one most pregnant fact that will serve to 
show, somewhat, their monetary ability. " The Af- 
bican Methodist Episcopal Ciiuech " is one of the 
denominations of the United States. It has its own 
organization, its own bishops, its conferences, its organ 
or magazine, and these entirely inter se — absolutely 
disconnected with all the white denominations of 
America. This religious body is spread out in ham- 
let, village, town, and city, all through the Eastern, 
Northern, "Western, and partly the Southern States. 
But the point to which I desire to direct your atten- 
tion is the fact that they have built and now own 
some 300 church edifices, mostly brick ; and in the 
large cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and 
Baltimore, they are large, imposing, capacious, and 
will seat some two or three thousand people. The 
free black people of the United States built these 
churches ; the funds were gathered from their small 
and large congregations ; and in some cases they have 
been known to collect, that is, in Philadelphia and 
Baltimore, at one collection over §1,000. The ag- 
gregate value of their property cannot be less than 

Now this, you will notice, is an exhibit of the 
corporate moneyed power of but one class of our 
brethren. I have said nothing about the Episcopal 
churches, of the Presbyterians, of the Baptists, nor 
of the divers sections of the Methodists. But this 
will suffice. You can easily see from the above, that 
there must be a large amount of pecuniary means in 


the hands of the free colored population of the Amer- 
ican States. 

. 2d. I turn now to another of their facilities for 
engaging in African commerce. I refer to Xayiga- 
tiox. And here I might rest the case upon the fact 
that money will purchase vessels, and command sea- 
men and navigators. But you already have both. 
Turn for a moment to Xew Bedford, Mass. It is 
now some twenty years since I visited that important 
seaport. Though but a boy, I kept my eyes open, 
especially upon the condition of our race there ; and 
I retain still a vivid remembrance of the signs of 
industry and thrift among them, of the evidences of 
their unusual wealth, and of their large interest in 
shipping. I had the names of several parties men- 
tioned to me who were owners of whale craft, and I 
made the acquaintance of some of them. Among 
these I remember well some Youthful descendants of 
Paul Cuffee. The same state of things I apprehend 
exists, though perhaps in a much less degree, in some 
places in Connecticut ; on the Hudson, that is, at 
Albany and Xewburgh, in the State of X ew York ; 
on the Potomac ; at St. Louis, on the Mississippi ; 
and on the Red Eiver. There are scores, if not hun- 
dreds of colored men who own schooners and other 
small craft in these localities ; pilots and engineers, 
captains and seamen, who, if once moved with a 
generous impulse to redeem the land of their fathers, 
could, in a brief time, forrn a vast commercial marine, 
equal to all the necessities of such a glorious project. 
Let me dwell for a moment upon one suggestion, 
that is, the facilities for securing seamen, and the 


comparative ease of forming crews. Colored seamen, 
in large numbers, I apprehend, can easily be ob- 
tained. Even in the United States, their numbess 
are legion ; and we may proudly say that, in activity, 
dutifulness, and skill, they are equal to any sailors 
on the globe. Nor would there be any great lack 
of the needed class just above the grade of sailors ; 
that is, a class who would join intelligence and 
knowledge to practicalness. What a number of men, 
trained to a late boyhood in the colored schools, do 
we not know who have sailed for years out of New 
York as " stewards " in the great " liners." How 
many of these are there not, who, both at school and 
by experience, have attained a real scientific acquaint- 
ance with navigation. And how many of them, had 
they been white men, would, long ere this, have risen 
to the posts of mates and captains ! How many of 
such could you and I point out who were our school- 
mates in the old '" free school," in Mulberry street ? * :: " 
Here, then, you have the material and the desig- 
nated agency for an almost boundless commercial 

* In a most elaborate paper, entitled "The Niger Trade," by Sir 
George Stephen, (Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London, 1849,) the author 
shows, most clearly, the need and the practicability of employing the 
agency of black men, for the purpose of African civilization. Sir George 
suggested the employment of them, in the [British] naval as well as 
merchant service ; in all grades of office, from seamen and marines up 
to naval officers; and he points to the West India Colonies, and Hayti, 
remarking, " Ilayti has a navy exceeding twenty in number, of which 
four are steamers; all are, of course, manned and officered by black or 
colored men." In this paper, Sir George quotes and emphasizes the 
words of McQueen — "It it by African haadi and African exertions 
cJdrfif that the evil must be rooted out." 


staff, for the purposes of trade in West Africa. The 
facts I have adduced cannot, I think, be disputed. 
And, on the condition that this machinery is brought 
into operation, the influences and results are easily 
anticipated. It must follow, as a necessity, that the 
trade and commerce of Africa shall fall into the hands 
of black men. At an early day whole fleets of ves- 
sels, manned and officered by black men from the 
United States and Liberia, would outrival all the 
other agencies which are now being used for grasping 
West African commerce. Large and important houses 
would spring into existence among you all through 
the States . "Wealth would' flow into your coffers, and 
affluence would soon exhibit itself amid all your asso- 
ciations. The reproach of penury and the conscious- 
ness of impotency in all your relations would rapidly 
depart, and as a people you would soon be able to 
make yourselves a felt element of society in all the 
relations of life, on the soil where you were born. 

These are some of the material influences which 
would result from this movement. The moral and 
philanthropic results would be equally if not more 
notable. The kings and tradesmen of Africa, having 
the demonstration of negro capacity before them, 
would hail the presence of their black kinsmen from 
America,* and would be stimulated to a generous 
emulation. To the farthest interior, leagues and 
combinations would be formed with the men of com- 
merce ; and thus civilization, enlightenment, and 
Christianity would be carried to every state, town, 

* Just this has been the experience of Dr. Delany, as I hear from 
valued friends there, at Lagos, and other places. 


and village of interior Africa. The galling remem- 
brance of the slave-trade on the coast, and of slavery 
in America, would quicken the blood and the brain 
of both parties, and every wretch of a slave-trader 
who might visit the coast would have to atone for his 
temerity by submitting to the rigid code framed for 
piracy. And when this disturbing and destructive 
hindrance to African progress was once put down, 
noble cities, vast agricultural establishments, the 
seeds of universities, and groundwork of church or- 
ganizations, would spring up all along the banks, and 
up the valley of the Niger.-' 

There is one certain commercial result — to return 
to my subject — that would surely grow out of this 
movement : I mean the flow of large amounts of cap- 
ital from the moneyed men of America ; that is, if 
black men showed skill, energy, and practicability. 
Philanthropy would come forward with largess for 
colored men, thus developing the resources of Africa. 
Religion would open a large and generous hand in 
order to hasten the redemption of a continent alien 
from Christ and His Church. And capital would 
hasten forward, not only for its wonted reduplication, 
but also to exemplify the vitality and fruitfulness 
which it always scatters from golden hands in its 
open pathway. And when you consider the fact of 
kinship, on our part, with Africa, the less liability to 
fever, the incentive to gain, the magnificent objects 
before us, and the magnificent field on which to 

* The great hindrance to African evangelization at the present time 
is the slave-trade. Missionaries feci this all along the coast, from Cape 
Pal mas to Conjro. 


develop them, and the probable early power of intel- 
ligent black men to penetrate, scathless, any neigh- 
borhood where they might reside, you can see the 
likelihood of an early repossession of Africa, in trade, 
commerce, and moral power, by her now scattered 
children in distant lands. 

For the carrying out such a plan you have, I re- 
peat myself, you have almost, if not quite, .all the 
needed means and agencies even now at hand. You 
have, all through the States, men who can at once 
furnish the capital for the commencement of such a 
venture. You know I am not wont to exasperate 
the wealth of colored men. ' In such matters 1 prefer 
fact to conjecture ; for certainly among us on this 
subject imagination has too often proved " a forward 
and delusive faculty." Yet I do know of some of 
our brethren in the States who have become moneyed 
men, not millionaires, indeed, but men worth their 
thousands. Some of these men are more prominent 
individuals than others, and as their names are not 
unfrequently mentioned in such a connection as this, 
it may not seem invidious in a like mention on these 
pages. Some of these persons are acquaintances — a 
few, old friends of former years, but the most are per- 
sonally unknown to me. There are Rev. Stephen 
Smith, "William Whipper, Esq., of Philadelphia ; 
Messrs. Knight & Smith, of Chicago, 111. ; Messrs. 
Cook & Moxly, Buffalo, K Y. ; Youngs & Wilcox, 
of Cincinnati, &c, &c. 

It is possible that in a few instances earnest preju- 
dice against every thing African may cause displeasure 
at this designation. Any one can see that I have 


intended nothing discourteous; and it should he re- 
membered that commercial enterprise in Africa has 
no necessary connection with emigration, or coloniza- 
tion. How great soever the diversities of opinion 
upon these points, on this platform, Douglass and 
Delany can stand beside the foremost citizens and 
merchants of Liberia. Hence those men whose feel- 
ings are the most averse to any thing like colonization, 
cannot object to the promotion of trade and the 
acquisition of .wealth. Indeed, I have no doubt that 
there are thousands who would be glad of a safe in- 
vestment in any thing wherein there is probability of 
advantage. Moreover, the fretted mind of our breth- 
ren needs distraction from griefs and the causes of 
griefs. Just now, when darkness shrouds their South- 
ern heavens, what could be more opportune, what 
more desirable, than such a movement ? The danger 
is, that thousands of them in their sorrows, may sit 
down hopeless, careless, and 

" Nurse despair 

And feed the dreadful appetite of death. 1 ' 

Your leading men should strive to occupy the vacant 
minds of their despairing brethren by the healthful 
stimulant of duty and enterprise. 

Doubtless there are many persons in the States who 
will view the above suggestions in connection with the 
Liberian Republic, and in my opinion it will be wise 
and judicious for them to do so. I have nothing ex- 
travagant to say about Liberia. It is a theme upon 
which I never fall into ecstasies. I cannot find in it 
as yet place or occasion for violent raptures. I 
started a little, at times, from cool equanimity, when 


I read the wonderful tales of travellers about the 
country, or the first letters of enthusiastic settlers. 
Liberia is a young country, hardly yet " in the gris- 
tle," laying, as I dare to affirm, good foundations ; but 
with much pain, great trials, consuming anxieties, and 
with the price of great tribulation, and much mortal- 
ity. But is not this the history of all. young coun- 
tries ? Has not God married pain, and suffering, and 
death to the fresh beo-imiin^s of all new nationalities ? 
Would it not be marvellous, not to say miraculous, 
if it were true, that the history of this colony — for it 
is nothing more than a colony as yet — that it had 
been exempted from these -trials ? And what right 
have we to expect that God in these days will work 
miracles, especially for black men ? * 

I have never been disappointed in any thing moral, 
social, or political that I have met with in this land. 
I came to the country expecting all the peculiarities 
of struggling colonial life, with the added phase of 
imported habits, tinctured with the deterioration, the 
indifference, the unthriftiness, which are gendered by 
any servile system. " All work is badly done by 
people in despair," says Pliny, the naturalist.f A 
forty days' passage through the deep sea cannot effect 

* "No new country can be founded unless under the greatest diffi- 
culties. It is the universal law of experience, that however in the late 
stages of their existence colonies may be prosperous, and to what state 
soever they may have advanced in the accumulation of wealth, their in- 
fant life must always be a life of difficulty and peril." — Rt. Hon. W. E. 
Gladstone, Speech before Propagation Soc., Liverpool, 1858. 

f Lord Bacon discourses most pertinently and powerfully to the 
same effect. See Art. 33 of "Plantations" "Bacon's Essays and Wis- 
dom of the Ancients." I regret I cannot copy it here. 


such a regenerating influence as to alter character 
and to Implant hope, ambition, thrift, order, and per- 
severance, where they have never been cultivated. 

These anticipations proved correct, save that I 
found a stronger and a more general disposition to 
labor than the sad history of our brethren warranted 
my looking for.* Many things gratified me from the 
first. Since then Liberia has grown much. Devel- 
opment shows itself on every side. The acquisitive 
principle manifests itself, and in less than ten years 
large fortunes will be made, extensive farms spring 

* The people of Liberia are not lazy, although I am sorry to say, ap- 
pearances axe sometimes against them. The case is this: — Many new 
men do not knoio how to labor for themselves ! They come, at a ma- 
ture age, when their habits are fixed, into a new school, the operations 
of which they arc unacquainted with. They go into the " bush," and its 
formidableness overcomes, and crushes them ; they sit down in despair 
and do nothing, and many perish. "Are not such men lazy?" asks 
some objector. I say no ! and my reason fox saying so is this : In the 
year 1856 there were scores of the class above described on the St. Paul's 
River, doing nothing. Some four or five farmers commenced the culti- 
vation of sugar cane and the manufacture of sugar. This new effort re- 
quired large numbers of laborers, and as soon as the need was known, 
the river was alive with men seeking labor. WJio were these men? 
The hopeless, the despairing men, who could not see their way through 
the "bush," and could not improve their own farmsteads. I have seen 
scores of these men trudging through the rain and mud, in the rainy 
season, or paddling in fragile canoes, seeking the larger plantations, 
clamorous for labor ; and I have seen the supply so great that a dozen 
men had to be refused at a time. Why was this? These men had been 
unaccustomed to self-support. Placed under a proprietor, heart and 
limb were alive with an industrious impulse. Liberia needs capitalists 
who can employ this large class of men. Mr. Ruffin, of Virginia, will 
perhaps claim this as a proof that black men must have masters. 
Students of " Political Economy " will put it among the facts which 
show that where capital languishes, men die, both in body and souL 


up, ships be built on our rivers and sail to Europe 
and America. There is every sign, too, that the 
springs of trade will shortly, through our own direct 
influence, be started through all our native popula- 
tion, for 200 miles in the interior, and that this trade 
will be our own, and that it will originate a commerce 
excelling that of Sierra Leone. I believe verily that 
the great principles of industry, of thrift, and expan- 
sion are daily taking root deeper in the soil ; and that 
ultimately they will outgrow and exclude all the weeds 
of lazy self-content, inflated and exaggerated vanity, 
unthrift and extravagance. Of course we have here 
stupid obstructives, men who cling tenaciously to 
the " dead past " ; a few millinered and epauletted 


" Keat and trimly dressed, 

And fresh as bridegrooms," 

who would civilize our heathen neighbors with pow- 
der and shot ; and a few unthinking, unreasoning 
men, who verily believe that the foundations of all 
great states have been laid in barter and pelf. But 
these are, by no means, the representative men of the 
land. If they were, I should despair of any future 
for Liberia, and depart. 

TTe have another, a larger class than these ; a 
class which comprises awakened old men and gen- 
erous and ardent youth ; the minds whose great ob- 
ject in life is not mere gain or comfort, but who feel 
that they have a great work to accomplish for their 
children, for their race, and for God ; who feel that 
they have been called to this mission, and who wish 
to spend themselves in the expansion and compacting 


of this youthful republic, to save bleeding, benighted 
Africa, and to help redeem the continent. I assure 
you that there is a school of this character in Liberia ; 
men who feel obligated to philanthropy, who are 
burdened with a sense of duty, who have the keenest, 
most sensitive feeling of race, who love Africa, who 
are anxious for the welfare of the whole negro family, 
who labor with all their might for the advancement 
of industry and civilization, who would fain glorify 
God. When I look upon this class of men, and mark 
their ways, I feel that the country will yet attain 
standing and reach some distinction." 

It is these thoughts and observations, and some 
experiences, which lead me to think that those who 
look upon Liberia in connection with their commer- 
cial desires, are wise. I have no wish to discourage 
those who are looking to the banks of the Kiger. 
God bless them every way if that is indeed their 
mission ! But, as an individual, I have earnestly 

* I cannot better illustrate the importance of such a class, as above 
mentioned, in Liberia, than by referring to a paragraph from a speech 
recently sent me by a friend : "If the founders of the American Repub- 
lic had been formed* by the same materials as the settlers of California, 
the genius and liberties of America would have been lost in anarchy or 
absorbed in an inevitable despotism. It was because, on however small 
a scale, they were senators and soldiers, impressed with a due sense of 
the heavy responsibility that rested upon them, and not mere money- 
getters, that they succeeded in laying the foundations of the greatest re- 
public in the world. They never lost sight of the responsibility of the 
task they had undertaken, — they felt that they were going for a high 
position in the eyes of the world, and to sot an example for all 
Feeling this, the early settlers of New England accomplished their mis- 
sion." John Robiet Godly, K 

before the "Canterbury Association/' London. 


desired a non-sanguinary evangelization of West 
Africa. All empire, the world over, in rude coun- 
tries lias been cemented by blood. In Western 
Africa the tribes universally, save in Liberia, are 
strong, independent, warlike. Even British prowess, 
both at Sierra Leone and on the Gold Coast, succumbs 
at times to their indomitable spirit. And thus you 
see that, for the establishment of a strong black civil- 
ization in Central Africa, a strong and a bloody hand 
must be used. Color is nothing anywhere. Civilized 
condition differences men all over the globe. Besides 
this, I have had a prejudice that that field God had 
given to the freed and cultivated men of Sierra Leone 
— that they were better fitted to the evangelization 
of the Niger than we ; that we, with our peculiarities, 
bred amid American institutions, might prove a dis- 
turbing element to the great work, for which, by 
blood, training, lingual capacity, and the sympathy 
of character and habits they were peculiarly fitted ; 
and that our governmental proclivities might jar with 
what seems a manifest providence ; that is, that 
Christianity is to be engrafted upon such strong 
states as Dahomey and Ashantee ; whose fundamen- 
tal governmental basis it seems to me it is not for 
the interests of civilization and of Africa to revolu- 
tionize or to disturb. 

I would not pretend to argue these points, much 
less to dogmatize upon them ; for the need of a civil- 
izing element at Lagos, especially at Abbeokuta and 
on the I^iger, is so great that I fear even to state the 
above impressions. And I stand ready to hail, at 
any time, any nucleus of freedom and enlighten- 


merit that may spring up anywhere on the coast of 


In Liberia we have the noblest opportunities and 
the greatest advantages. We have a rich and varied 
soil — inferior, I verily believe, to but few, if any, on 
the globe. We have some of the proofs and many of 
the indications of varied and vast mineral wealth of the 
richest qualities* We have a country finely watered 
in every section by multitudinous brooks and streams 
and far-reaching rivers. We have a climate which 
needs but be educated, and civilized, and tempered 
by the plastic and curative processes of emigration, 
clearances, and scientific farming, to be made as fine 
and as temperate as any land in the tropics can be. 

On this soil have been laid the foundations of 
republican institutions. Our religion is Protestant, 
with its characteristic tendencies to freedom, progress, 
and human well-being. We are reaching forward, as 
far as a young and poor nation can, to a system of 
common schools. Civilization, that is, in its more 
simple forms, has displaced ancestral paganism in 
many sections of the land, has taken permanent foot- 
hold in our territory, and already extended its roots 
among our heathen kin. Our heathen population, 
moreover, in the immediate neighborhood of our 
settlements, is but small and sparse ; thus saving our 
civilization from too strong an antagonism, and al- 
lowing it room, scope, and opportunity for a hardy 
growth in its more early days. Active industry is 
now exhibiting unwonted vigor, and begins to tell 
upon commerce and the foreign market. 

Kow when you consider that all these elements, 


humble, as indeed they are, are our own, that we are 
the creature and dependent of no foreign government, 
you will agree with me, I think, that men who have 
families will act wisely in looking narrowly at our 
advantages ere they place themselves in circumstances 
where the moral elements of life and society are more 
rude, and where the formative agency and influence 
will belong to some foreign power. That these ele- 
ments are slow in growth and expansion is true ; 
but this, it will be remembered, furnishes probability 
of their being sure and permanent. 

I have heard the poverty of our particular locality 
contrasted with the richness of other parts of "West 
Africa. Well, this may be the case ; but I think 
there can be no doubt that there is no nobler, more 
commanding position in West Africa than that of Li- 
beria. We hold, I think, the key to the vast interior. 
You have heard it said, and seen it published, that 
we have no great rivers. But the St. Paul's, the 
Boorna,* the St. John's, and the Cavalla rivers, stretch 
away into the far interior 300 and 400 miles, with 
great breadth, and with a vast volume of w r ater. 
That they come from the same great water-shed from 
whence, on an opposite side, the Niger drains its 
mighty waters, seems almost a certainty. And if so, 
the valley of the Niger, with its wondrous resources 
and its teeming wealth, will, 'ultimately, be as avail- 
able to us as any other people. At present these 

* The Booma is a river at Cape Mt. Settlement. I hear that it is the 
greatest river in Liberia. I am just informed, as this paper leaves me, 
that an acquaintance has ascended it, some ninety miles, without any 


rivers are not navigable any great distance, owing to 
falls and rapids. But black men in Africa must do 
what enterprising men do in all other new lands : 
they must bend nature to their wants and wise 
Ship canals are needed twenty miles from the coast, 
around the rapids of the St. Paul's, and eighty miles 
from the coast around the falls of the Cavalla, and 
ship canals must therefore be made. If we have not 
the means, we must go to work and acquire them. 
If we have not the science and the skill, we must 
form our schools and colleges, and put our sons in the 
way of learning them. And if we have not the men, 
that is, the ■population, for such a vast and laborious 
undertaking, we must lift up a loud voice, and call 
upon hopeful, vigorous, intelligent, and energetic 
black men, all over the globe, " Ho, to the rescue ! " 
" Come over and help us ! " 

And these are just the great needs of Liberia : — 
men, learning, and wealth. And wealth here, as an 
acquisition, requires the use of the same means and is 
regulated by the same laws as in any other land. It 
requires forecast, wakefulness, industry, thrift, prob- 
ity, and tireless, sweatful toil ; as well in tropical 
Africa as in cold Holland. There is no royal road to 

it on this soil. 

" Nil nisi magno 

Vita labore dedit mortalibus." 

As to learning, we have no greater need than this 
same religion ; and there can be no excess of means, 
no superabundance of agencies, no delicacy or pro- 
fundity of culture, tmadapted to actual present needs 

of all this wide region of Liberia. We have our na- 


tive population, and we have our emigrant youth and 
children, thousands upon thousands, all around us. 
And when I look at the quickness, the capacity, and 
the thirst of the natives for enlightenment, I can see 
no difference in the needs of the one from the other ; 
I regard them, in the general, as our intellectual 
equals. If I anticipated for them a merely secular 
training, I should prefer a difference ; but feeling, 
knowing, that the Christian religion is to mould, and 
fashion, and leaven every thing here in future times, 
I go for the highest culture that can be given the 
rising generation, and hail every facility for the fur- 
therance of this end which Providence grants us. In 
the first passage of the heathen from barbarism it 
will doubtless be advisable to make much of their 
training, physical, and to be content with the Bible 
and moral instruction ; but the ultimate aim should 
be, and most surely will be here, to open to them all 
the broad avenues of instruction and culture. The 
great cause of apprehension just now is that the 
means for supplying general education are but par- 
tial, and that the actual need created by our circum- 
stances for the attainment of good literary and scien- 
tific training cannot be obtained. 

I come to population. We need immigration. 
We are poor in men and women. We do not num- 
ber over 14,000 emigrant citizens. Numbers of these 
are crippled, I mean in soul rather than in body, ere 
they come here. The poverty of emigrants dwarfs 
the otherwise actual force of the country ; and old 
age, in both sexes, and especially the fact that a large 
percentage of emigrants are helpless females with 


children, without husbands, brings out the sad truth 
that our real available nian-foree is but small. And 
yet the moral calls upon us in this new sphere, the 
intellectual demands, and the physical requirements, 
with the vastness of territory, and the largeness of 
providential circumstances around us, while they 
quicken imagination, fix also the conviction of help- 
less weakness, and in some men produce indifference 
or despair ; in others, vexation and painful anxious- 
ness. The population question is dwarfing the powers 
of our strong and earnest leaders. They cannot lift 
themselves up to grand ideas and large conceptions. 
In all their efforts they are " cribbed, cabined, and 

We need this day for the great work before us, 
in a region of not less than 500,000 square miles, we 
need, I say, not less than 50,000 civilized men. We 
ought to be travelling onward through the land, and 
to appropriate and modify a remark of De Tocque- 
ville's, to be " peopling our vast wilderness at the 
average rate of at least five miles per annum." And 
for the work of civilization an enlightenment among 
our aboriginal population, we should have even now, 
a mental power and a moral force working through 
all our territory, fitted for just such a transformation 
as has been produced in Xcw Zealand and the Sand- 
wich Islands in a period of twenty-five years. The 
tide of immigration, as it now sets in, promises us no 
such results. Our ratio of increase, with our present 
diverse disturbing influences, is but small. Unfortu- 
nately, there is no general consciousness of our lack 
and need in this respect. I have had the fear that 


some of my fellow-citizens accustomed themselves to 
look upon Liberia as a " close corporation." The 
attempt to pass a " naturalization law," in the face 
of the fact that it takes years to add a thousand 
living men to our population, chiefly caused that fear. 
But we in common with you are becoming awake to 
the conviction that, as a race, we have a great work 
to do. The zeal of England and of America for 
Africa is opening our eyes. Our own thoughtful 
men begin -to feel the binding tie which joins them 
in every interest and feeling with the negro race all 
over the globe. Your " Anglo-African Magazines," 
" Douglas' Journal," and patriotic addresses begin to 
tell upon us. And soon there will be a kindled eye, 
a quickened pulse, a beating heart, and large and 
generous emotions, for our bruised and wounded 
brethren everywhere. And when that day comes, 
the people of Liberia will cry out : " We have the 
largest advantages of all our race. "v7e have the 
noblest field. Ours is the most signal providence, 
and our state offers the grandest possibilities of good, 
the finest opportunities of manly achievement. Why 
then suffer ourselves to be hindered in working out 
of ' manifest destinies ' of beneficence to suffering 
Africa by the narrowness of our aims, or the fewness 
of our numbers and means ? It is true we have a 
wide field to enter, and need more and mightier men 
to enter it. Let us therefore call our skilful and 
energetic brethren to come to us and share the suffer- 
ing and the glory of saving Africa. Let us stand on 
the beach and on the hill-side, and beckon to them hi 
all lands to come and participate in lofty duty, in 


painful but saving labor, and to aid in the restoration 
and enlightenment of a vast continent ! ' : 

I turn now to the religious aspect of this subject. 
In speaking of the religious needs of Africa, it is not 
necessary 1 should attempt a picture of her miserable 
condition, nor enter into the details of her wretched- 
ness. Her very name is suggestive of uttermost spir- 
itual need, of abounding moral desolation, of the 
deepest, darkest ignorance, of wild and sanguinary su- 
perstitions. This whole continent, with its million 
masses of heathen, presents one broad, almost un- 
broken, unmitigated view of moral desolation and 
spiritual ruin. And this fact creates the demand 
upon the Christian world for ministers and teachers, 
for the purpose of her evangelization. " The field is 
the world," and the Church is to occupy it, and she 
will occupy it. 

As members of the Church of Christ, the sons of 
Africa in foreign lands are called upon to bear their 
part in the vast and sacred work of her evangeliza- 
tion. I might press this point on the grounds of 
piety, of compassion, or sympathy, but I choose a 
higher principle. For next to the grand ideas which 
pertain to the Infinite, His attributes and ' perfec- 
tions, there is none loftier and grander than that of 

Duty — 

"Stern daughter of the voice of God." 

It is the duty of black men to feel and labor for the 
salvation of the mighty millions of their kin all 
through this continent. I know that there is a c 
of her children who repudiate any close and peculiar 


connection with Africa. They and their fathers have 
been absent from this soil for centuries. In the 
course of time their blood has been mingled some- 
what with that of other peoples and races. They 
have been brought up and habituated to 'customs en- 
tirely diverse from those of their ancestors in this 
land ; and while the race here are in barbarism, they 
on the other hand are civilized and enlightened. 

But, notwithstanding these pleas, there are other 
great facts which grapple hold of these men and bind 
them to this darkened, wretched, negro race by indis- 
soluble bonds. There is the fact of kinship, which a 
lofty manhood and a proud generosity keep them 
now, and ever will keep them, from disclaiming. 
There are the strong currents of kindred blood which 
neither time nor circumstance can ever entirely wash 
out. There are the bitter memories of ancestral 
wrongs, of hereditary servitude, which cannot be for- 
gotten till " the last syllable of recorded time." There 
is the bitter pressure of legal proscription and of in- 
veterate caste, which will crowd closer and closer 
their ranks, deepening brotherhood and sympathy, 
and preserving vital the deep consciousness of distinc- 
tive race. There still remains the low imputation of 
negro inferiority, necessitating a protracted and an 
earnest battle, creative of a generous pride to vindi- 
cate their race, and inciting to noble endeavor to 
illustrate its virtues and its genius. 

How then can these men ever forget Africa? 
How cut the links which bind them to the land of 
their fathers ? I affirm, therefore, that it is the duty 
of black men in foreign lands to live and to labor for 


the evangelization of tlie land of their fathers : 1st, on 
the ground of humanity ; 2d, because they themselves 
are negroes, or the descendants of negroes, and a»e 
measurably responsible to God for the salvation of 
their heathen kin ; and 3dly, I press the considera- 
tion of duty on the ground that they are Christians. 
In the good providence of God they have been 
enabled to pass out of the spiritual benightedness of 
their fathers into the high table-lands and the divine 
atmosphere of Christian truth and Christian con- 

Xow I shall not attempt any formal argument in 
proof that black men, or, to use the new term, Anglo- 
Africans, are in duty bound to extend the Gospel in 
Africa, for I know enough of human nature to see 
that such an argument would look like the assump- 
tion that our brethren in the States were so ignorant 
that they did not know their duty as Christians. 
The very men who, perchance, would contest every 
other point in this letter, would charge me with 
insult, if I had just here put forth an argument to 
prove that Christianity requires black Christians to 
be missionaries as well as white ones. They would 
start up and exclaim : " Do you think that we read 
our Bibles and yet remain ignorant of the evangel- 
izing spirit of the Bible ? Do you think that we 
are such fools as to suppose that the precepts and 
commands of Scripture have a color on them ? And 
do you suppose that we are such ignorant creatures 
that you must needs present an argument to prove 
to us that we should manifest a missionary heart as 
well as other Christians ? We do not need your 


teachings, sir. "We know something about Chris- 
tianity as well as you." 

» I attempt no such argument. It is not to be 
supposed for a moment that black Christians in ]S~ew 
York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, do not know 
that there are no distinctions in Christian require- 
ment, that her obligations are as weighty upon them 
as upon any portion of the Church. I am only en- 
deavoring to show that while that portion of the race 
that lives in America owes duty in America, it has 
obligations which likewise pertain to Africa ; that de- 
votedness to the cause of the black man in the United 
States, does not necessarily exclude sympathy for 
Africa. Let me illustrate this. There is a phase of 
modern theological writing, which brings out most 
prominently the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ, 
though born of a Jewish mother, shows nowhere Jew- 
ish idiosyncrasies. You look at the Lord Jesus, you 
read his life, you study his words, and nowhere can 
you discover nationality. Men of every clime, and 
blood, and nation turn to Him, and they find each and 
all in Him the reflex of one common broad humanitv. 
The Apostle, St. Paul, more than any other mere 
man, reached the nearest to this grand and divine 
Catholicity of the Master. " I am debtor both to 
the Greeks and to the Barbarians : both to the wise 
and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am 
ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Pome 
also." Pomans, Chapter i. 14, 15. 

j^ay, he went even beyond this. In his Epistle 
to the Thessalonians, he speaks of his kinsmen the 
Jews, in a way which would lead one to suppose that 
he had become thoroughly denationalized. " For ye 


also have suffered like things of your own country- 
men, even as they have of the Jews : Who Loth 
killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and 
have persecuted us ; and they please not God, and 
are contrary to all men." 1 Thessalonians ii. 14, 15. 
So thoroughly had the grace of God eliminated from 
the soul of St. Paul that withering and malignant 
principle of caste, which burned more fiercely and 
intensely in the Jewish mind and blood, than in any 
other people that ever lived. 

And yet, look at this same large-hearted, Catho- 
lic-minded Paul ; what a patriot he is ! what long- 
ings he has for his race ! How he falls back upon 
their high and noble prerogatives ! Yea, what zeal, 
what deep desire, what earnest self-sacrifice, he 
cherishes for them ! " What advantage hath the 
Jew ? " he asks, " Or what profit is there of circum- 
cision ? Much every way : chiefly because that unto 
them were committed the oracles of God." Romans 
iii. 1, 2. The Epistle to the Romans was written 
after that to the Thessalonians. And again, in the 
9th chapter, he says : " I say the truth in Christ, I 
lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the 
Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and con- 
tinual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that 
myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, 
my kinsmen according to the flesh : who are Israel- 
ites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, 
and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the 
service of God, and the promises ; whose are the 
fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ 
came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." 


To be Catholic-minded, then, does not imply a lack 
of patriotism. Large, yea cosmopolitan views do not 
necessarily demand a sacrifice of kinship, a disregard 
of race, nor a spirit of denationality. 

Even so our brethren in the United States, how- 
ever manfully they claim citizenship in the land of 
their birth, however valiantly against all odds they 
stand beside their brethren in bonds, however nobly 
they may continue to battle for their rights, need 
not, nevertheless, feel less for the hundreds of millions 
of their kin " without God and without hope in the 
world," " in bondage to sin and Satan " ; nor yet to 
put forth less generous effort for their well-being and 
eternal salvation. 

I turn from the point of duly to the question of 
your ability and power to take part in this great 
work. I do not know whether or not colored men in 
the United States would generally acknowledge that 
they could as a people do something for Africa ; 1 
assume, however, as most probable, the affirmative. 
At the same time, I must say that I do not think 
there is any deep conviction of either the awful 
needs of the case, or the solemn obligations connected 
with it. 

I see, however, that this very question of your 
ability is both questioned and denied in some quarters. 
I see in the " Spirit of Missions," (October, 1858,) a 
report of a speech of Rev. Dr. I. Leighton "Wilson, 
Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, 
which is of this tenor. He says : " To withdraw our 
missionaries is virtually to consign those people to 
perpetual and unmitigated heathenism. The speaker 


knew of no substitute for the present plan of mission- 
ary Operation. In the colonization scheme he enter- 
tained the liveliest interest. The Liberian Republic 
oilers a comfortable home for those in the United 
States who choose to go there, but it can never exert 
an influence which will reach the remote part of the 
continent. To study out the barbarous languages, 
prepare dictionaries, to give shape to a community 
emerging into the light of civilization, we never look 
to colored men as best adapted to this work. AVe 
were shut up to the conclusion that we must pursue 
this work in the manner already commenced." 

I regret exceedingly that one who has done and 
suffered so much for Africa as Dr. Wilson has, should 
have ventured such disparaging remarks concerning 
any of her children as the above.* For if he had put 
himself to the pains of inquiring into the capacity of 
the " colored men around him," he would never, I 
feel convinced, have thus spoken. * I am no more dis- 
posed to exaggerate the learning or mental ability of 
our race than their wealth. Indeed, as a race, there 
is no place for exaggeration. As yet, we arc but 
" parvenus " in the intellectual world. Our great- 
ness lies in the future ; as yet we have not secured it. 
Nevertheless, American black men have done, and 
are now doing, enough to challenge respect. And 
even that seems to be withheld by Dr. Wilson ; pos- 
sibly 1 may mistake him. But when American black 

* It is hardly necessary for me to tell you that Dr. Wilson has q 
the flower of his years on this coast in s.ll'-saciitice for Africa; nor to 
add that it was chiefly through a rigorous and timely pamphlet of his 
that the British Squadron was not withdrawn from this coast in 1851. 


men are ably editing literary journals, publishing re- 
spectable newspapers, issuing from the press volumes 
of sermons, writing scientific disquisitions, venturing 
abstruse " Theories of Comets," and sending forth 
profound " vital statistics," vexatious alike to oppos- 
ing statesmen and divines, they so far vindicate their 
mental power and ability as to make it manifest that, 
under better circumstances, in a clear field, they 


— " Move and act 
In all the correspondence of nature," 

with force, and skill, and effect. 

But Dr. "Wilson knows -nothing of this particular 
class of black men. He and hundreds like him know 
nothing of them. And this is one of the signal signs 
of the deadly power of caste. It victimizes the white 
as well as the black man. Here is mind — active, 
struggling mind — developing itself under most inter- 
esting circumstances ; rising above the depression of 
centuries ; breaking away from ancestral benight- 
edness and hereditary night ; gradually gathering 
strength, and emerging into light ; and at length 
securing respectability and attracting attention ; and 
yet of this phenomenon, which excited the admira- 
tion of Dr. Channing, and arrested the attention of 
Lord Carlyle and Dr. Playfair, passing travellers, Dr. 
Wilson apparently knows nothing, but actually speaks 
slightingly of. 

Dr. "Wilson rejects the idea of your being capable 
of exerting a remote and extensive influence. I beg 
to point out his error by a reference again to the 
" African Methodist Church," in the United States. 


I make this reference on the ground that in the 
Church of God " there are diversities of gifts, but the 
same Spirit " ; and " there are differences of adminis- 
trations, but the same Lord " ; and " that the mani- 
festation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit 
withal " ; and yet again, that in the great work of 
Christ for the salvation of the heathen, even those 
very " members of the body [of Christ] which seem to 
be more feeble, are necessary."* 

And, while fully agreeing to the affirmation, more 
distinctly stated by Dr. Wilson than I have ever seen 
it expressed before, that, " the idea of gathering up 
colored men indiscriminately, and setting them down 
on the shore's of Africa, with the design or expecta- 
tion that they will take the lead in diffusing a pure 
Christianity among the natives, deserves to be utterly 
rejected by every friend of Africa" ;f still it seems to 
me that he commits an error similar to that of reject- 
ing the light artillery of an army, because the " cav- 
alry " is a stronger arm of it. 

Doubtless all the religious societies of colored 
people in America are humble, that is, as it respects 
literary and theological qualifications ; and the Afri- 
can Methodist Church as much as any other. I do 
not think they themselves would make any preten- 
sions. But have they fitness for practical usefulness ? 

We can only determine this by facts. Xow this 
denomination has been in existence since 1790. It 
has gathered into its fold tens of thousands of the sons 
of Africa on American soil. 

* 1 Corinthians xii. 5, 6, 7—22, 
f Wilson's "Western Africa," p. 507. 


" The poor forsaken ones : " 
men, however, of earnest mind, who would not sit in 
the negro pew ; men, who but for this society must 
have been left to indifferentism or infidelity, have 
had their wounded hearts soothed by the visitations 
of this society, and their anxious, passionate gaze 
turned from the trials of caste and slavery, to " the 
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." 
They have built churches, established schools, founded 
a college, raised up a ministry of over four hundred 
men, meet in several conferences, and are governed 
by their own bishops. Here, then, is a spiritual ma- 
chinery which has saved the United States the shame 
of hundred of thousands black heathen. Here is a 
purely missionary enterprise in the full tide of success, 
which has been administered by black men over a 
half century. Stretching from Maine to Louisiana, 
from Maryland to California ; it shows that black 
men " can exert an influence which will reach the 
remote part of the continent " of America ; and why 
not do the same on the continent of Africa ? Oper- 
ating among negroes, most of whom a century ago 
were recently from Africa ; it shows that American 
Christians, even now, " can looJc to colored men as " 
[at least, humbly] " adapted to the work" that is, to 
give shape to a community emerging into the light of 
civilization." The disproof of Dr. Wilson's assertion 
is right before his eyes. 

Dr. Wilson's objection, that we are " not best 
adapted to study out the barbarous languages and 
prepare dictionaries," I regard as exceedingly unfair. 
There is not a missionary society in Christendom 


whose choice of missionaries is conditioned on this 
single qualification — their " ability to study barba- 
rous languages and prepare dictionaries " ! It strikes 
too as much against white missionaries abroad as 
against black men ; for are they " best adapted," in 
these respects, compared with such distinguished 
divines and scholars as Dr. Robinson, Dr. Goodrich, 
Dr. Turner? Besides, how many dictionaries have 
the fishermen of Galilee transmitted to modern times ? 
"What evidence have we of an eminent scholarship 
among them like to this demanded of us ? Or where 
is the proof that even the Holy Spirit regarded " the 
preparation of dictionaries," or a critical lingual capa- 
city as the qualifications of missionaries ? 

"We read the history of the Church, and see the 
conquests of the faith in ancient times in Europe, 
Asia, and Africa. But how rare a thing is it, to find 
such preeminent scholarship as, for instance, that of 
Henry Martyn, Bishop Middleton, and David Tappan 
Stoddard, the accessories of the devoted missionary 
spirit, which has converted millions, and brought 
whole nations into the kingdom of Christ ! St. Paul 
founded the churches of Asia and Greece. But where 
is the proof that even he was an eminent critical 
scholar ? Christianity was revived and energized in 
England by Augustine in the 6th century, and then 
travelled onward with conquering power, until the 
time of the Reformation ; and since then the evangel- 
ization of England has been progressing witli a resist- 
less march to the present. But the first English dic- 
tionary we know of is that of Dr. Johnson. 

If I do not mistake the spirit of the New Testa- 


ment, it requires, I apprehend, in addition to devoted 
piety, good sterling qualities, and an " aptness to 
teach," as the ordinary gifts of ministers : [and what 
are missionaries but ministers ?] It cannot go below 
this standard ; but it may rise above it to the fiery 
zeal and wasting labors of St. Paul ; the effective 
eloquence of Xavier, and Swartz, and Brainerd ; the 
fine abilities and practical learning of Carey and 

If to ordinary gifts, missionaries are able to add 
these other eminent ones, so much the better fitted 
will they be to make skilful and effective workers in 
the Lord's vineyard ! • 

But if not, then missionaries, that is, colored mis- 
sionaries, to Africa, must be content to labor as effec- 
tively as they can, without them ; relying for transla- 
tions and the superior literary work of missions, upon 
the occasional white laborers who come from abroad. 
And with respect to the languages, they must do as 
two-thirds, not to say three-fourths, of the white mis- 
sionaries do, that is, work for the heathen through 
the agency of interpreters. In Liberia, however, 
more than a third, not to say half, of the colored min- 
isters speak the respective native tongues in their 
vicinity, with ease ; and of candidates for the minis- 
try, in the different denominations, I feel well nigh 
confident that four-fifths of them speak one or two 
native tongues. 

You have then humble qualifications fitted to 
make vou, although not learned, vet useful and effec- 
tive instruments in the salvation of our heathen kin. 
You can become preachers and teachers ; and the 


more learned labor can be done by white brethren. 
As you have fitness, so likewise you have the oppor- 
tunity to enter upon this glorious and Baying work. 
I wish to show here that if you love Africa, and really 
possess a missionary spirit, the way is open before 
you to enter at once among the crowded populations 
of this continent, and to set up the standard of the 
Cross. From the port of Lagos, in almost direct 
line, through a crowded population, and passing by 
cities containing tens of thousands of people, a high- 
way is now open reaching to Kabba on the banks 
of the Niger. All through this country the colored 
churches of America can send their missionaries, 
build up Christian schools, and lay the foundation 
of Christian colleges and universities. North, of us 
lies the wide and open field of the Mendians, which 
is the door to the mighty millions of interior Africa, 
back to Timbuctoo. Between these two fields of 
labor is the Republic of Liberia. Our name, our 
reputation, and our flag will insure you safety two 
hundred miles from the coast, among large, impor- 
tant, industrious, and active-minded natives. It was 
only the other day that I made a second visit to an 
interior station, in company with Dr. Delany, who 
had been my guest for a few weeks, and became, for 
the time, my fellow-traveller. We were paddled up 
the Cavalla, a fine, broad-flowing river, running 
through a rich and populous country, with banks 
rising twenty, thirty, fifty feet, almost perpendicu- 
larly from the water's level ; its turning points open- 
ing ever and anon to our view grand mountain 
scenery in the distance, with visions of ravishing 


beauty now and then bursting upon our sight ; 
navigable for sloops and schooners near eighty miles 
from the coast, and stretching out beyond the falls 
which here obstruct its passage, some three or four 
hundred miles in the interior. Everywhere, in every 
town, we were most cordially received, hospitably 
entertained, and my teachings eagerly listened to, 
by whole towns and villages, who invariably turned 
out in a body to hear the preacher. In most of these 
towns I had gone preaching before ; other mission- 
aries had been there long and often before me ; and 
hence you can see that it was interest that excited 
them, and not mere novelty. 

ISTow here is a vast, open field ready for the Gos- 
pel ; but it is but one among scores, in the limited 
territory of Liberia. Saving that the Cavalla can 
be navigated a further distance inland, there are 
many other as good opportunities and facilities for 
the conveyance of the Gospel interiorward, as this. 

!S"ow, let me ask, what hinders the colored Chris- 
tians of America from entering these large, inviting 
missionary fields, and founding the institutions of 
Christianity here? Putting aside, altogether, the 
question of colonization, why can they not as a peo- 
ple come forward to save their race from heathen- 
ism, and to give them both the present and the future 
consolations of religion ? 

Let me refer in particular to the three classes of 
religionists among our brethren, with whom I am 
more especially acquainted : the Methodists, Presby- 
terians, and Episcopalians. 

The colored Episcopalians are a " small folk," I 


know, but both of us being churchmen, will make 
my mention of them excusatory. With three or four 
of these congregations I am intimately acquainted, and 
I see no difficulty whatever in the way of their adopt- 
ing some such plan as this : 1. Preparing, as a com- 
mencement, some two or three youug men for the 
ministry, for the special purpose of becoming mission- 
aries to Africa. This, of course, presupposes a regu- 
lar, systematic effort on the part of the ministers of 
these churches to interest their people in Africa, and 
to train them in the habit of giving to missions. In 
this way one young heart and another would ever 
and anon come forward, anxious to devote himself 
to the evangelization of Africa. The young men 
might take theological lessons of the minister, and 
when prepared, might be placed under the Episcopal 
authority on this coast, and receive orders. 2. When 
about sending off the young men, if any pious me- 
chanics, or farmers, or schoolmasters desired to 
devote themselves to the work, the congregation 
might extend their interest to them as well as to the 
candidates for orders, and assure them of continued 
regard and future zeal and self-sacrifice in their be- 
half.* 3. A company thus formed, might be placed 
at the disposal of the mission, with the request, per- 
haps, that they might be located together, as one 
party ; and the church from whence they came, or 

* I regret that the theme before me forbids that I should speak of 
the almost absolute necessity, in any such scheme, of connecting manual 
labor with missionary effort. Indeed no man should become a colonist 
to Africa whose example is likely to encourage the heathen in their ir- 
regular, unsystematic, unplodding modes of labor. 


some two or three colored, might regard 
that station as their own, — supply it with school- 
books, farming utensils, clothes for missionaries and 
converts, and provisions to a greater or less extent ; 
might recruit ever and anon with new schoolmasters, 
or replace decayed or deceased missionaries, — or take 
charge of their children [in America,] and prepare 
them for the work of their parents, in the future. 

This is only an outline of what the few colored 
Episcopal churches in the United States could do.* 
Perhaps you say, " This is a large scheme ! " I reply 
without hesitation that, from my knowledge of the 
wealth that has been concentrated in it, St. Thomas' 
Church, Philadephia, could have done all this thirty 
years ago. The expense of a small mission, thus con- 
stituted, would not near equal the lavish expenditure 
of some city congregation of colored people, in balls, 
parties, fashionable rivalry, jewelry, pic-nics, and the 
department w T hich is politely termed cuisine. 

"Without entering into details, I merely remark 
that from their numbers, and the increasing intelli- 
gence and learning of their ministers, the Presby- 
terians could do a larger work than the Episcopalians. 
They have so many white colleges and seminaries 
opened to them, so many obstacles have been re- 
moved out of the way of their aspiring young men, 
and so wide and warm and hearty is the desire of all 
classes of white Presbyterians to build up their de- 

* There are no less than three different fields into which effective 
laborers would likely be welcomed : — the church in Sierra Leone, in 
Liberia, and in the projected field in South Africa, where the "Cam- 
bridge and Oxford " mission intend to establish a colony. 


nomination among the free colored people, that the 
colored Presbyterian churches could contemplate 
grand saving schemes for Africa, and undertake at 
once a large and noble work. 

But the " African 'Methodist Episcopal Church " 
of the United States has the machinery for a most 
comprehensive missionary service in Africa. They 
have a well-tried system ; they have experience ; 
they have a large body of ministers ; and they have 
a corresponding body already in existence, under 
complete organization, in Liberia — I mean the " Li- 
berian Methodist Episcopal Church." If my old 
friend, Bishop Daniel A. Payne, would only enter 
into this work with all that warmth of heart, that 
energy of purpose, and that burning Christian elo- 
quence, which characterize him, what blessedness 
would he not impart to this land ; what spiritual life 
would he not diffuse among all the churches of his 
charge in America ! His people could start a saving, 
systematized plan by which health, power, life, and 
energy would be constantly poured, like a living 
stream, into the corresponding body in this country, 
and so be diffused throughout the land, to the vil- 
lages, the hamlets, and the huts of tens of thousands 
of our needy heathen kin ! 

I am not blind to difficulties. I know some of the 
trials of emigration. I have been called to some of 
the difficulties, not to say severities, of missionary life. 
And therefore I shall be free, I trust, from the charge 
of flippancy. So likewise I am aware of the peculiar 
obstacles in the way of our brethren in the 6 
I, too, am an American black man. T, too, have an 
12 ' 


acquaintance with obstructive idiosyncrasies in them. 
If you speak of hindrances and difficulties specially 
theirs, I know all about them. 

But I say it deliberately, that the difficulties in 
the way of our brethren doing a goodly work for 
Africa, are more subjective than objective. One of 
these hindrances is a want of missionary zeal. This 
is a marked characteristic of American black Chris- 
tians. I say American, for from all I hear, it does 
not characterize our West Indian brethren ; and the 
infant church of Sierra Leone is already, in sixty 
years from its birth, a mother of missions. This is 
our radical defect. Our religion is not diffusive, but 
rather introversive. It does not flow out, but rather 
inward. As a people we like religion — we like reli- 
gious services. Our people like to go to church, to 
prayer-meetings, to revivals. But we go to get en- 
joyment. We like to be made happy by sermons, 
singing, and pious talk. All this is indeed correct so 
far as it goes ; but it is only one side of religion. It 
shows only that phase of piety which may be termed 
the "piety of self satisfaction .." But if we are true 
disciples, we should not only seek a comforting piety, 
but we should also exhibit an effective and expansive 
one. We should let our godliness exhale like the 
odor of flowers. We should live for the good of our 
kind, and strive for the salvation of the world. 

Another of these hindrances is what the phrenolo- 
gists term u inhabitativeness" — the stolid inhabita- 
tiveness of our race. As a people, we cling with an 
almost deadly fixity to locality. I see this on both 
sides of the Atlantic. Messrs. Douglass and Watkins 


assail Messrs. Horace Greeley and Gerrit Smith for 
pointing out this peculiarity of character in our peo- 
ple. But without doubt they tell the truth of us. 
"We are not " given to change." The death of a mas- 
ter, the break-up of a family, may cast a few black 
men from the farm to the city, but they go no fur- 
ther. "We lack speculation. Man has been called a 


"Looking before and after" 

But not so we. We look where we stand, and 
but few beyond. 

So here, on this side of the water. The coloniza- 
tion ship brings a few hundred freed men to this west 
coast of Africa. They gather together in the city of 
Monrovia, or the town of Greenville, and there they 
sit, yea, and would sit forever, if it were not for some 
strong external influence which now and then scatters 
a few, and a precious few, here and there along the 

Here then you see, in this same people, on both 
sides of the waters, an exaggeration of the " home 
feeling," which is so exceedingly opposite to Anglo- 
Saxon influences that I wonder that we, who have 
been trained for centuries under them, have not ere 
this outgrown it. Sixteen years from the settlement 
of Plymouth, sixty families started from Boston and 
cut their way to Windsor, on the Connecticut.* We 
in Liberia have never yet had a spontaneous move- 
ment of old settlers in a body and with a purpose to a 
new location. The colored people of Rochester, N. 
Y., in 1853, I hear, were mostly fugitive The 

* Bancroft's History of America, oh. ix. 


" Fugitive Slave Law " prompted them to emigi'ate 
to Canada ; but proximity determined their choice of 
a home rather than any large principle. We read in 
the Acts of the Apostles, that when those who at 
Stephen's death were persecuted, were scattered 
abroad, " they went everywhere, preaching the word." 
So when our brethren felt constrained to leave the 
United States, it was meet, it seems to me, that some 
of them should have thought of Africa and her needs. 
On the other hand, if Liberians had been duly awake 
to the welfare of our race, we should have shown our 
brotherly feeling by inviting the wanderers to our 

These two hindrances, that is, a lack of missionary 
zeal and a tenacious hold on locality, will doubtless pre- 
vent active efforts for the regeneration of Africa. So, 
too, they will serve to check commercial enterprise. 
But as a people, we shall have to rise above these 
things. The colored churches of America will find, 
by and by, they can retain no spiritual vitality un- 
less they rise above the range of selfish observation, 
to broad, general, humane ideas and endeavors. Self- 
preservation, self-sustentation, are only single items in 
the large and comprehensive category of human du- 
ties and obligations. 

" Unless above himself, he can erect himself, 
How poor a thing is man." 

And this is equally true with regard to Liberian 
black Christians. Do not think that I pretend to say 
that we in Africa stand on such a high vantage- 
ground that we can point invidiously at our brethren 
in America. I have no hesitation in saying, as my 


own opinion, that in both the respects referred to 
above, we are more blameworthy than you. 

A third hindrance may be mentioned here. There 
will be a reluctance on the part of even some good 
and zealous Christians to engage in the propagation of 
the Gospel in Africa on the ground " that its ultimate 
tendency must be to subserve the objectionable scheme 
of African colonization." But surely any one can see 
that such an objection is wicked. The Gospel must 
be preached in all the world. The Master commands 
it. The history of the Church shows that it does not 
necessarily, if generally, carry colonization with it. 
But even if in this particular case it does so, no Chris- 
tian has a right to shrink from his duty. And that 
man must be demented who cannot see God's benefi- 
cent providence in colonization, — that man blind who 
does not recognize good and mercy in its work, civil 
and religious, on the coast of Africa ! The duties of 
our present state are not to be determined by imagi- 
nary results or prospective issues. They always grow 
out of the positive commands of the Bible, or manifest 
human relations ; and loth fasteu the duty upon us to 
care for the heathen in general, and for our heathen 
kin in particular. 

I have no doubt, however, that every effort that is 
henceforth made to spread the Gospel in Africa, will 
bring many, from the impulse of emigration, to Afri- 
ca. Up to a certain future, but I hope not distant, 
point in American sentiment, there will be, I feel 
Cjuite certain, a large exodus of the better, more culti- 
vate!, and hence more sensitive minds, partly to Afri- 
ca, liayti, Brazil, and the British colonies. Th 


who " having done all," still stand, must bear with 
those who leave. Hayti needs a protestant, Anglo- 
African element of the stamp Mr. Holly will give 
her. Jamaica is blessed by the advent in her midst 
of snch a strong-minded, open-eyed, energetic spirit, 
as my old school-mate and friend Samuel R. Ward. 
And Liberia's wants in this respect are stronger than 
either of the above. You should leam willingly to 
give, even of your best, to save, and regenerate, and 
build up the race in distant quarters.* You should 
study to rise above the niggard spirit which grudg- 
ingly and pettishly yields its grasp upon a fellow la- 
borer. You should claim in regard to this continent 
that " this is our Africa," in all her gifts, and in her 
budding grace and glory. And you should remem- 
ber, too, with regard to emigrants, the words of that 
great man, Edmund Burke, — " the poorest being that 
crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injus- 
tice and oppression, is an object respectable in the 
eyes of God and man." 

But it is time that I should draw to a close, for I 
have fallen into a too common fault : I have made 
too long a " palaver." My letter has run out to a 
greater length than I intended. And now I shall 
weary you no longer. 

For near three centuries the negro race, in exile 
and servitude, has been grovelling in lowly places, in 
deep degradation. Circumstance and position alike 

* The 2d article of the Constitution of African Civilization Society 
sets forth my views in better language than my own : " The Evangeliza- 
tion and Civilization of Africa and the descendants of African ances- 
tors, ivhcrever dispersed" 


have divorced us from the pursuits which give noble- 
ness and grandeur to life. In our time of trials we 
have shown, it is true, a matchless patience, and a 
quenchless hope : the one prophetic of victory, and 
the other the germ of a high Christian character, now 
developing. These better qualities, however, have 
been disproportioned, and the life of the race, in 
general, has been alien from ennobling and aspiring 

But the days of passivity should now come to an 
end. The active, creative, and saving powers of the 
race should begin to show themselves. The power of 
the negro, if he has such power, to tell upon human 
interests, and to help shape human destinies, should, 
at an early day, make full demonstration of itself. 
We owe it to ourselves, to our race, and to our gener- 
ous defenders and benefactors, both in Europe and 
America, to show that we are capable " of receiving 
the seed of present history into a kindly yet a vigorous 
soil, and [that we can] reproduce it, the same, and 
yet new, for a future period " * in all the homes of 
this traduced yet vital and progressive race. 

Surely the work herein suggested is fitted to just 
such ends, and is fully worthy the noblest faculties 
and the highest ambition. If I were aiming but to 
startle the fancy, to kindle the imagination, and there- 
by to incite to brave and gallant deeds, I know no 
theme equal to this in interest and commanding influ- 
ence. And just this is the influence it is now exert- 
ing upon passionate and romantic minds, in England 
and the United States, in France and Germany, in 

* Dr. Arnold. Inaugural Lecture. 


Austria and Sardinia. These civilized States are send- 
ing out their adventurous travellers to question, on 
the spot, the mysterious spell which seems to shut out 
Africa from the world and its civilization. These en- 
terprising spirits are entering every possible avenue 
to the heart of Africa, anxious to assure the inner 
tribes of the continent that the enlightened popula- 
tions of Europe would fain salute them as brethren, 
and share with them the culture and enlightenment 
which, during the ages, have raised them from rude- 
ness and degradation ; if they can only induce them 
to throw aside the exclusiveness of paganism and the 
repulsiveness of barbarism. 

But the enlightened sons of Africa, in distant lands, 
are called to a far higher work than even this ; a 
work which as much transcends mere civilization as 
the abiding interests of eternity outvie the transient 
concerns of time. To wrest a continent from ruin ; to 
bless and animate millions of torpid and benighted 
souls ; to destroy the power of the devil in his strong- 
holds, and to usher therein light, knowledge, blessed- 
ness, inspiring hope, holy faith, and abiding glory, is, 
without doubt, a work which not only commands the 
powers of the noblest men, but is worthy the presence 
and the zeal of angels. It is just this work which 
now claims and calls for the interest and the activity 
of the sons of Africa. Its plainest statement and its 
simplest aspect are sufficient, it seems to me, to move 
these men in every quarter of the world to profound 
sensibility, to deep resolve, to burning ardor. Such 
a grand and awful necessity, covering a vast conti- 
nent, touching the best hopes and the endless desti- 


n y of millions of men, ought, I think, to stir the soul 
of many a self-sacrificing spirit, and quicken it to 
lofty purposes and noble deeds. And when one con- 
siders that never before in human history has such a 
grand and noble work been laid out in the Divine 
Providence, before the negro race, and that it rises up 
before them in its full magnitude now, at the very 
time when they are best fitted for its needs and re- 
quirements, it seems difficult to doubt that many a 
generous and godly soul will hasten to find its proper 
place in this great work of God and man, whether it 
be by the personal and painful endeavors of a laborer 
in the field of duty, or by the generous benefactions 
and the cheering incitements which serve to sustain 
and stimulate distant and tried workers in their toils 
and trials. " A benefaction of this kind seems to en- 
large the very being of a man, extending it to distant 
places and to future times, inasmuch as unseen coun- 
tries and after ages may feel the effects of his bounty, 
while he himself reaps the reward in the blessed so- 
ciety of all those who ' having turned many to right- 
eousness, shine as the stars forever and ever.' "* 

I am very truly, 

Your servant 

Alex. Crummell. 

* Bp. Berkley: M Proposal for supplying churches." 




Preached at HotwclVs Cliurch, Clifton, Bristol, England, 
April 21sJ, 1852. 

" Shall drink at noon 

The palm's rich nectar ; and lie down at eve 

In the green pastures of remembered days ; 

And walk, to wander and to weep no more 

On Congo's mountain-coast, or Guinea's golden shore." 

— Anon. 

" In the unreasoning progress of the world 
A wiser spirit is at work for us, 
A better eye than ours." 

— "Wordsworth. 


Psalm lxviii. 31. — "Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto 

I am requested to plead this evening on behalf of 
the Society established in this country, for the educa- 
tion of the Negro race in the British West Indies. I 
most readily comply with this request, because I re- 
gard this as one of the chief among the charities of 
England ; and because I feel, that to advocate the 
claims of this Society is, as it were, to plead for my 
own life and blood, and to vindicate my own personal 
interests and advantages. 

I use the paragraph which I have announced as 
my text, since it is singularly appropriate to the ob- 
jects of this excellent association, and, also, remark- 
ably coincident with the train of thought I purpose 
presenting to your consideration. The Ladies' Negro 
Education Society aims at and desires the mental 
and spiritual regeneration of the Negro race in the 


West Indies ; but it also entertains another important 
purpose, in close connection with this high end. It 
is a cherished idea of many of its supporters, that by 
their endeavors, and through the objects of their be- 
nevolence, they may send abroad healthful influences 
and a saving power, far beyond the limits of their 
immediate field of labor ; — even to the benighted 
father-land, whence the ancestors of the sable dwellers 
upon these islands were first brought ; and thus help 
to raise up the great African family, in its several 
sections, to civilization and enlightenment ; — to bring 
up a people, who for centuries " have lain among the 
pots," * to the fine adornment, and the beauteous pro- 
portions of grace, — and to aid in that which seems 
just now, the great wouk of Christendom — the re- 
generation of a continent ! 

Falling in with these purposes and aims, I wish 
to avail myself of the prophetic announcement I have 
quoted, by calling attention to some facts, in order 
to show, first of all, that in the work of the Divine 
Providence, this withered arm of the human species — 
the £[egro race — is gradually, nay rapidly, resuming 
life and vitality, and hastening with a pace quick 
beyond all precedent, to the open day of the Gospel : 
and then I wish to employ the evidences "of this fact 
which I may present, as the grounds for increased 
zeal and energy, in the particular department this 
Society aims to fulfil. 

The term Ethiopia is, in the original, Cush. This 
Cush was one of the four sons of Ham. His descend- 
ants, in part, settled in Asia between the Euphrates 

* Psalm lxviii. 13. 


and the Tigris, and there first distinguished them- 
selves. There Nimrod, his son, laid the first founda- 
tions of empire of which we have any record, and 
founded Kineveh. Subsequently, the Cushites spread 
themselves abroad through Arabia, from the Persian 
Gulf to the Red Sea. By and by, in process of 
time, a portion of them crossed the Red Sea and set- 
tled in Africa ; and afterwards, as the remainder of the 
Cushite amily, who were settled in Asia, were gradu- 
ally merged into other races, the seat of their strength 
and empire was transferred to Africa : and conse- 
quently in history, the African section of the Cushite 
family stands forth as the representative of the race. 
For although two other of the sons of Ham, that is, 
Mizraim and Phut, settled in Africa ; yet they have 
had but little to do with generating that mighty hive 
of human beings which peoples the continent of Africa, 
whose numbers seem ever to swell more and more 
beyond all ordinary calculation as the missionary or 
the traveller advances toward the interior. The name 
Mizraim and his race seem connected only with ancient 
Egypt ; for, from a very early period down to the 
present, the invasion of the Persian, the Greek, the 
Roman, and the Turk, has obliterated the distinctive 
marks of the sons of Mizraim : and hence in these 
our modern days, we find in Egypt a mixed race of 
people, and only the faint memory and the doubtful 
tracings of the aboriginal population. And so, to 
a certain extent, was it with Phut ; he settled in the 
northwestern part of Africa ; and although his family, 
too, in a partial degree, have remained intact, yet the 
presence, the influence, and the power of the Moors 


and the Bomans can be seen in their mixed blood 
and the foreign control to which they are subjected. 

The history of the Cushites, in its African section, 
has been entirely different. Shut in by the great 
desert from the rest of the world, and, until the dis- 
covery of America, protected from foreign aggression 
by the then, to them, mysterious ocean, they have 
peopled the vast interior of the African continent 
with numerous tribes and nations ; of most of whom 
we have but vague, indefinite, and almost fabulous 
reports, and concerning whom the world is now in 
nearly as much doubt and incertitude, as it was two 
thousand years ago, in the' time of Herodotus and 

This ignorance, with respect to the Cushite or 
Negro family, long continued as it was, has in more 
modern days become greatly lessened. It was broken 
up by that remarkable activity of the human intellect 
which the discovery of the magnet, the invention of 
printing, and the geographical adventures of Colum- 
bus, produced in the fifteenth century. These events 
led to a complete acquaintance with the coast of 
Africa, and the tribes dwelling thereon. Another 
influence tended to the same result : the peculiar 
social condition of the newly-discovered islands in 
the West — a condition produced by the ruthless waste 
of aboriginal life by Spain — caused a strong demand 
for a new supply of labor. In this originated the 
Slave Trade : and this effectually broke the spell of 
African seclusion. The demand for West Indian 
labor was met by the forcible substitution of the 
Negro for the Indian. 


And thus the children of Cash are scattered over 
the face of the whole earth. The Negro race is to be 
found in every quarter of the globe. Stolen from 
their homes, and reduced to abject vassalage, they 
are gathered together by thousands and tens of thou- 
sands, and even millions, in lands separated, by thou- 
sands of miles, from the primitive seat of their ances- 
tors, and the rude hamlets of their sires. 

Now it is with respect to the Negro race, as thus 
scattered abroad through the world, as well as dwell- 
ing in their homes in Africa, that I shall apply my 
text : my purpose is to show that, in the merciful 
providence of God, the Negro race is fast approach- 
ing the day of complete evangelization. And as 
proof of this position, I shall call your attention, — 

L To secular evidences of its correctness and truth, 
manifested during the last fifty years. 

II. To the spiritual progress of the Negro race 
during the same period. 

III. To the unusual spiritual solicitude exhibited 
in the race, during this period, and at the present 

I. In the first place, I am to refer you to secular 
evidences — to some temporal providences, that are 
alike recent and remarkable ; which show that the 
day of the regeneration of Africa and her children is 
fast drawing nigh. 

We stand now, my hearers, in the central period 

of the present century : we are living in the year of 

grace eighteen hundred and fifty-three. Now just 

go back with me to the commencement of this cen- 



tury, and look at this race of which we are speaking. 
"What then meets our eyes ? Why we iiud one uni- 
versal fact connected with the Negro race — the fact 
of universal slavery, and the slave trade. If we turned 
to the "West Indies, whether under Danish, Spanish, 
Dutch or English rule, the black man, everywhere, 
was a chattel. If we turned to the American conti- 
nent, we would have found the race in the same posi- 
tion there, whether under the Protestant rule of the 
North American colonies, or under the Romish rule 
of the South American States. If we turned to Africa 
herself, we would have seen the whole extent of that 
vast continent given to the spoiler, robbed of her 
children — the vast interior converted into a hunting- 
ground for capturing miserable and wretched human 
beings ; — drenched on every side with fraternal blood ; 
— and the long line of the coast, for thousands of miles, 
evidencing, at every point, how prolific was the slave 
trade, in woes and agonies and murders, by the 
bleached bones, or the bloody tracks of its countless 
victims ! 

And wh at was the status of the "Negro race at this 
time, in either Europe or America ? It is one of the 
sad results of crime that its deadly influences strike 
down deep into every part of the human constitution : 
it both dementates and demoralizes men. The slave 
trade not only lowered the nations that engaged in 
it, in the scale of humanity, and in the tone of their 
morals, but it robbed them of the clearness of their 
mental vision. They not only robbed the Negro of 
his freedom — they added another crime thereto : they 
denied his humanity. Yes, at the commencement of 


this century it was a debated question among culti- 
vated, thoughtful, nay even scientific minds, whether 
the Xegro was indeed an integral member of the 
human species. 

This, then, was the condition of the Negro race fifty 
years ago — this the estimation in which that race 
was held. 

And now I desire to call your attention to the 
great change which has taken place in both these 
respects, since that period. 

Since the commencement of this century, the lead- 
ing European and American Governments have re- 
nounced all participation in that nefarious traffic 
which has barbarized Africa ; and some of them 
have declared the slave trade piracy. The black 
man, thus held in a state of servitude, has been 
emancipated. The cheerful voice of freedom has 
been heard all around the islands of the Caribbean 
Sea ; and eight hundred thousand human beings, 
under British rule, have been awakened by its grate- 
ful tones, to liberty and manhood. Influenced by this 
gracious example, France has stricken the shackle 
and the fetter from the limbs of three hundred thou- 
sand men and women. And Denmark has given the 
promise that she too will follow, at an early day, in 
the same benevolent pathway. 

In America, the civil condition of the Negro race 
presents, in many places, the same signs of a half 
century's progress. From Mexico,'"' Bolivia, Peru, 

* Slavery was abolished in Mexico, September 15, 1829, by the fol- 
lowing decree: — lt Slavery is forever abolished in the Republic; and 
consequently all those individuals who, until this day, looked upon them- 
selves as slaves, are fr- 


Columbia, and Guatemala, the signs and tokens of 
Negro slavery were obliterated long before the system 
was abolished in your own western possessions. And 
although it still exists in Brazil, in the United States, 
and in Cuba, we have nevertheless some few signs of 
advancement, some evident indications that it must 
ere long yield and come to an end : for the commerce 
of the world is against slavery ; the free-trade prin- 
ciple of the age is against it ; science in her various 
developments is against it ; the literature of the day 
is just now being brought to bear, in a most marvel- 
lous manner,, against it ; and the free sentiments of 
the world are against it, and doom it to an early utter 
oblivion ! 

Turning again to the coast of Africa we- meet with 
most cheerful evidences of progress. Along a coast 
extending some two thousand five hundred miles in 
length, the slave trade has been entirely uprooted and 
destroyed ; and from " more than three-fourths of the 
strongholds " * once occupied by the traders, they 
have been driven out, never more to return. Along 
this region — including some of the richest and most 
productive portions of the African continent — legiti- 
mate trade has sprung up ; and instead of a revolting 
commerce in the "bodies and souls of men," and women, 
and even babes, we see industrious communities spring- 
ing up, civilization introduced, and a trade com- 
menced which already has swelled up, in exports 
alone to Europe and America, to more than two mil- 
lions of pounds per annum.f 

* The "British Squadron on the Coast of Africa": by the Rer. 
J. Leighton Wilson, an American Missionary, p. 10. 
f Ibid., p. 18. 


In connection with these general facts of African 
improvement, there are a few particular details which 

deserve special notice. One of these is, that from the 
midst of this race, various individuals have arisen who, 
on many accounts, merit consideration. If I had time, 
I could mention the names of scores of negroes who 
have achieved fame and celebrity : jihilanthropists 
like Howard ; scholars, classical and mental ; scien- 
tific men — one, a Doctor of Philosophy in a German 
university ; distinguished painters and artists ; officers, 
well known in Europe ;* and one — a statesman, a 
general, and a hero, now a historical character, who 
was the father of his country, and achieved her liber- 
tics ; one of the ablest commanders of the age ; a man 
for whom -the highest notes of minstrelsy have been 
struck, around whose name and history all the attrac- 
tions of romance have hung. I mean the great and 
mighty chief of Hayti, Toussaint L'Ouverture.f 

* Eustace, a Negro of the Island of St. Domingo, was an eminent 
philanthropist : he devoted all his means to providing for the sick and 
needy, nursing and sheltering orphans, and apprenticing destitute youth. 
He lived and labored only to make others happy. In 1832, the National 
Institute of France awarded him the sum of 1,000 dollars. Job Ben 
Solomon ; Antony William Amo, (of the Universities of Halle and 
Wittenburg,) Doctor of Philosophy; Ignatius Sancho, and FRANCIS 
"Williams ; ranked high as scholars: Annibal was a Lieutenant-General 
in the Russian Army ; Lislet Groffroy was an officer of artillery in 
the Isle of France. 

f Lamartine and Miss Martineau have both made Toussaint the hero 
of one of their works ; and most readers are acquainted with the line 
sonnet of Wordsworth, which I cannot resist repeating: 
11 Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men ! 
Whether the whistling rustic tend his plough 
"Within thy hearing, or thy head be now 
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den ; — 

294: H0PE F0R AFRICA. 

Besides these various evidences of the progress 
of my race during the last half century, I must not 
fail to notice one striking fact : that is, that within 
this period, the black government of Havti has come 
into existence ; the African colony of Sierra Leoxe 
has been established — a colony which has already be- 
come the cradle of missions, the mother of churches, 
the parent of colonies. And, moreover, we see now 
rising with, we trust, hopeful indications, on the west- 
ern coast of Africa, the lone star of the black Bepeb- 
lic of Liberia. 

And still another movement of a similar character 
is now projected by Englishmen, from your own "West 
India Islands : a movement of brightest promise, even 
while yet in the bud ; which contains within its folds 
the germs of a new African nationality of a civilized 
and Christian type. In the island of Barbadoes a 
society has been formed, under the patronage of the 
Governor, the Bishop, and other chief personages, 
whose object is to transplant colonies of black men 
from the T^est Indies to the coast of Africa. The 
black population have become interested, and have 
formed societies, and declare their strong spiritual 

miserable Chieftain ! where and when 

Wilt thou find patience ! Yet die not ; do thou 

Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow : 

Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, 

Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind 

Powers that will work for thee ; air, earth, and skies— 

There's not a breathing of the common wind 

That will forget thee ; thou hast great allies ; 

Thy friends are exultations, agonies, 

And love, and man's unconquerable mind ! " 


yearnings for Africa. They are to go in communities 
with clergymen, physicians, mechanics, and laborers, 
and form themselves at once into organized settle- 
ments. An agent has been in this country seeking 
funds for the foundation of a college. An important 
society has been formed in England, under the pat- 
ronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the 
leading dignitaries of the Church, and great states- 
men. Already two African youths are under a sys- 
tem of instruction for missionary usefulness. 

The locality they have chosen is that rich and 
precious portion of the coast which lies south of 
Liberia, and which is contiguous to the powerful 
kingdoms of Ashantee and Dahomey ; and thus, in a 
corporate state, they will be enabled, at an early day, 
to act with a civilizing power and a Christian influ- 
ence upon all the wide spaces, yea, at the very heart 
of the great life which beats in that vast continent. 
And here you cannot but notice that which has struck 
my own mind as one of the most distinct, unequivo- 
cal, and peculiar providences of the Almighty, which 
has been seen during the last three centuries. It is 
now three hundred years since the commencement of 
the slave trade. During this period millions of ne- 
groes have been stolen from Africa, and subjected to 
all the bitter but unimaginable horrors of domestic 
slavery on the American continent and its isles. "Why 
all this agony and anguish — continued from genera- 
tion to generation, to the only portion of helpless 
humanity — dragging- down the people of a single race 
on two continents ; — why all this agony and anguish 
should have been permitted by the Divine will and 


providence, has been perhaps the most puzzling ques- 
tion which ever agitated the rnind of Christian men, 
who could not doubt the justice and equity of Heaven. 
Well, three centuries have passed, and the mystery- 
is being solved : the recaptured Africans taken to 
Sierra Leone, civilized and Christianized, feel all of 
a sudden, an irresistible desire to return to the land 
of their birth : they charter vessels, and a large num- 
ber go down the coast a thousand miles and more, 
bearing the Gospel to Abbeokuta.* 

Again, emancipation takes place in your British 
"West Indian Islands, and eight hundred thousand 
men, women, and children are changed, by a single 
act in one day, from chattels into men. So soon as 
they are freed from the fetter and from thraldom, a 
strong spiritual yearning arises in their souls for their 
father-land, and they stretch forth the arms of a 
sacred affection for Africa. The feeling is so wide, 
so general, so earnest, that an organized system is 
fallen upon ; and soon Christian communities of 
black men in large numbers from your British "West 
Indies, will be seen planted on the west coast of 
Africa, proffering the boon of salvation to all the 
large tribes and nations of that continent. 

And yet again : the children of Africa have been 
sojourning nigh three centuries in America, and in 

* This Emigration commenced in 1839. I shall not enter into the 
particulars pertaining to it : but I would beg the reader to procure a 
copy of "Abbeokuta, or Sunrise within the Tropics," by the accom- 
plished and philanthropic Miss. Tucker, author of "South India 
Sketches" and the "Rainbow in the North." Chap. III. gives a full 
account, of the "foundation of Abbeokuta," and the "Sierra Leone 


the course of time, large numbers of tliem have be- 
come free. The free blacks of America are a dis- 
turbing element in the midst of the white inhabitants 
of the paradoxical Republic ; and hence, by the force 
of the oppressive principle, thousands of them have 
been led to emigrate to the coast of Africa. There 
they have formed a Republic — the Republic of Li- 
beria, with free institutions, with schools and churches, 
and missions to their heathen kin. 

Here, then, in the providence of God, we see three 
distinct movements, in the Negro race itself, of a 
civilized and Christian character, tending towards 
the coast of Africa ; and it presents this singular, this 
cheering and auspicious aspect, that after three cen- 
turies of slavery and outrage, this people are emerging 
from the shades, and, all at once, from three different 
quarters of the globe, are carrying in a combined and 
organized manner, in three different streams, civil- 
ized institutions and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, not only to the coast of Africa, but to the 
banks of the Niger — to the very heart of that vast 
benighted continent ! 

II. I must not dwell any longer upon these topics 
of temporal regard. Interesting and gratifying though 
they be, they are not nigh so grateful to the Chris- 
tian mind, as the facts which pertain to the spiritual 
progress of the Negro race during the last fifty 

The contrast I have just presented between the 
commencement of this century and the present mo- 
ment, holds in an equal degree with respect to the 


spiritual condition of this race, as to their civil and 
political status. 

Prior to the commencement of this century, the 
Negro race had been left in a state of almost abso- 
lute spiritual neglect. Along the whole line of the 
west coast of Africa, not a mission had been com- 
menced to evangelize nations ; not a spire pointed its 
silent fiuger, with a heavenly significancy, to the skies. 
The masses of the black population of America and 
the West Indies were in a state of heathenism, though 
surrounded by the Christian institutions of the whites. 
Both custom and law forbade the instruction of Ne- 
groes, and superadded fear prevented the formation 
of schools. Nay, more than this : the conquerors of 
the black race were as yet undecided whether their 
bondmen were capable of spiritual illumination, or 
were heirs of immortality. 

Now let us take a general view of the advance 
which has been made in the Negro race in Christian 
culture and enlightenment. I have not time to trace 
the stream of improvement, from the first flowings of 
the generous waters to the present full and grateful 
supply. I cannot linger on my way to mark the first 
signs of a noble revolution of feeling on this subject 
— to note the kindly endeavors and the zealous efforts 
which ensued, the encouraging fruits which they 
yielded, and the present state of cheering advance- 
ment and hopeful promise. Let it suffice that I pre- 
sent the more notable changes — the almost incredible 
contrast which meets our eyes this day almost every- 
where where the children of Cush. the Negro race, 
are living. 


Fifty years have sped their flight, and now, at 
the present day, there is not a spot on earth where 
members of the Negro race are gathered together in 
any considerable numbers, but what there enlarged 
facilities are now opened to them for mental and 
spiritual culture, or where their religious interests 
have not become questions of vast importance. Turn 
to the ~\\ r est India Islands. Immediately on emanci- 
pation, nay, in justice it must be said, hefore that 
glorious event, efforts had been commenced to give 
religious instruction to the black population. Even 
then this Society had commenced its benign and 
saving labors ; and now, in all the lovely isles of the 
West, where " Britain's power is felt," there are hun- 
dreds and thousands of African youth who this 
day have been appropriating the rich advantages 
of mental and spiritual instruction. During the few 
years which have elapsed since emancipation, there 
has been a marvellous increase of schools, and churches, 
and chapels. A number of intelligent and thought- 
ful African young men, among the different bodies 
into which Christendom is unfortunately divided, 
have been trained up as teachers and ministers. In 
the Church a class of this kind act as catechists and 
lay-readers. Some of the children of these people 
have been sent to Europe, to avail themselves of the 
higher discipline of education in the universities of 
the old world, and have returned home again to serve 
their people in civil and spiritual functions. A few 
have remained in Europe. I know myself of three 
of these sons of Africa now in England, who, having 
taken orders, are acting as curates in the Church ; 


another, a personal acquaintance, has recently com- 
menced his ministry in one of the West India Islands. 

In the United States of America, although wicked 
laws and a bad public sentiment have seriously re- 
tarded the spiritual progress of the African race, yet 
in the slave States a greater attention is now paid to 
this duty than ever before ; and in the North a class 
of free black men has arisen, who, as ministers and 
teachers, in their own persons vindicate their race, 
and at the same time elevate and bless it. 

And now, when we turn to Africa, how great the 
change ! How wonderful and pleasing the contrast ! 
" Previous to the year 1832, there was not a mission 
anywhere between Sierra Leone and the Cape of Good 
Hope." Now, " during the last fifteen or sixteen 
years " — I use the words of another* — " there have 
been established as many as twelve independent mis- 
sions, at the distance of 100 or 200 miles from each 
other, embracing three times that number of outsta- 
tions along the coast, and a still greater number of 
outstations interiorward." To hundreds of thousands 
of the nations, on the coast and in the interior, the 
Gospel of glad tidings is regularly preached. Its life- 
giving power is manifested in the marked revolution 
which is going on in their tastes and habits, and in 
the change of their customs. Christian communities 
are being gathered together ; civilized and Christian 
institutions are formed, and are extending themselves. 
Christianity has made itself felt in the family, in the 
domestic relations of life, in trade, in law, in the 

* The "British Squadron on the Coast of Africa": by the Rev. J. 
Leighton Wilson, an American Missionary, f>. 24. 


" modus operandi " of their Governments. Thousands 
of children are now regularly receiving instruction 
in our holy religion, and the enlightenment which 
comes from mental training." Already one high- 
school has furnished a score and more of catechists 
and teachers ; has produced three native young men, 
fit candidates for holy orders in the Church, who are 
preaching the Gospel to their own kith and kin in 
heathen darkness. This same school — the Fourah 
Bay Institution — has now a dozen young men n't can- 
didates for holy orders ; and another set of youths 
trained in the languages and in science, also prepar- 
ing for sacred duties and the ministerial call. At 
another place on the coast, two other high schools are 
already in operation ; two colleges, one on a large 
scale, are projected, and will soon commence oper- 
ations. Indeed, so great, so increasing, and so impor- 
tant are the spiritual interests of the nations, that the 
Episcopal Church of America is now strengthening 
all its posts on the coast of Africa ; and, to use the 
words of its Foreign Secretary, in a letter to myself, 
she expects that the Church there, that is, in Liberia, 
will soon be permanently established ; and last year 
she commissioned a Bishop to head her movements 
in the mission there, in the Republic of Liberia. And 
since the consecration of Bishop Payne, the mother 
Church of England has met the needs and the de- 
mands of your own missions and African colonies by 
the consecration of the Bishop of Sierra Leone. 

* Mr. Wilson says, (p. 24,) "more than 10,000 youths are now 

receiving a Christian instruction in the schools connected with the 


III. In the third and last place, I beg to direct 
your attention to the "unusual spiritual solicitude now 
everywhere manifest in the ]S~egro race. 

This characteristic has had its chief manifestation 
during the half-century which has just expired, and 
seems peculiar to it. There is a stirring up now in 
the spiritual desires and yearnings of this race, such 
as the world has never before witnessed. From every 
side we hear the earnest call, from yearning hearts, 
for Christian light. There is no quarter of the globe, 
where the children of Africa are gathered together, 
but where we see this trait of character more discov- 
ered than any other. Indeed, risking the imputation 
of partiality of race, I think I may say that religious 
susceptibility and moral dispositions are the more 
marked characteristics of the Xegro family, and the 
main point in which they differ from other races. 
There is a peculiar fact which proves this point : 
where the white man goes he first builds a bank or 
a trading-house : the first effort of the black man is 
to erect a meeting-house. The enlightenment of the 
one seeks, first of all, to express itself in mere civil- 
ization : the native disposition of the other tends tow- 
ard some religious manifestation. 

During the last few years there has been a more 
than usual — a most marked expression of these fea- 
tures of character. We have the testimony of West 
Indian pastors, missionaries, and teachers, to the eager 
craving of the African peasantry for instruction. In 
America, the gravest hindrances cannot repress this 
desire ; and among the free black population, I can 
testify from personal acquaintance and observation 


that this, the religious solicitude, is the master princi- 
ple of that people. Turn to Africa, and there we see 
almost fullilled the prediction of the Prophet — " The 
Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the 
brightness of thy rising." * I doubt much whether, 
if ever, the history of missions has discovered such a 
wide-spread and earnest seeking for Christian knowl- 
edge, as is seen among the Pagan tribes on that suffer- 
ing coast. A missionary on his way down the coast, 
lands at a certain spot. The news of a God-man, 
as they term him, having come, flies like lightning 
through the neighborhood. Three kings visit him ; 
several chiefs bring him their sons, and desire him 
to take them under his care for instruction ; numbers 
of the people assemble, all expressing their sorrow 
that he will not abide with them, and teach them. 
When Mr. Freeman went some two hundred miles 
in the interior to visit the king of Ashantee, the whole 
kingdom was thrown into excitement. " Never since 
the world began," said the king, " has there been 
an English missionary in Ashantee before." Thou- 
sands of troops attended him on his approach to the 
sable monarch ; and in the midst of the grossest super- 
stition and most cruel rites, the ambassador of Christ 
was received with the most marked respect ; and full 
permission was given him to establish Christian in- 
stitutions in the capital of the kingdom. f All along 
the coast where missions are established, kings and 
princes and great men are bringing their children 

* Isaiah lx. 8. 

f See "Journal of various Visits to the kingdoms of Ashantee, &c.," 
by the Rev. Thomas B. Freeman. 

304: H0PE F0R AFRICA. 

forward to be trained up in our holy faith. I do not 
know of a single mission but where there are two 
or three or more of these youthful princes, who are 
intrusted to the care of these missionaries. Some- 
times their parents come from the far interior with 
their children — so great is their desire ; and so nu- 
merous are the requests of this kind, that, not unfre- 
quently, the missionaries are obliged to decline receiv- 
ing them. In several cases they have sacrificed their 
parental feelings — parted with their little ones, and 
sent them across the ocean for instruction. In Eng- 
land, at the present time, there cannot be less than 
a hundred Negro children at school, in different parts 
of the country. Nor does this solicitude spend itself 
in anxieties for the young only — it is fully partici- 
pated in by the adult population. The missionary, 
wherever he goes from his station, is sure to get a 
large, patient, inquiring auditory, whether in a hut, 
or in a rude heathen temple, or in the temporary 
Christian Church, or beneath the shade of the palm, 
upon the passing highway. Sometimes the chief of 
a tribe refuses an escort through to a neighboring town, 
lest the missionary should stay with the other people 
and not come back and proclaim the good news to 
him and his people. At times it is both ludicrous 
and tearful to hear of a missionary being kept cap- 
tive by a heathen king, for fear that, should he suffer 
him to depart, he might never come back again to 
preach the Gospel. It is only last year that the peo- 
ple of a village formed a stratagem to keep a travel- 
ling missionary to themselves. They attempted to 
bribe his boatmen to go away, so that he would be 


obliged to remain with tliem. And what is singular 
is, that this desire for the Gospel, vague, undefined, 
and ignorant as it surely is, comes from every quar- 
ter — from the north and the south, the east and the 
west. The missionaries on the Gambia find them- 
selves utterly unable to meet the earnest solicitations 
of the Foulahs, the Jalofs, and other tribes in Sene- 
gambia. The American missionaries in Liberia are 
pleading with tears for more help — for more teachers 
— for more clergymen. The call is so earnest at 
Lagos, at Abbeokuta, and in the interior from the 
banks of the Niger, that Mr. Townsend sends the cry 
across the ocean for a band of many missionaries ; 
and the Church. Missionary Society is using every 
possible effort to meet the call." 

At Calabar, and at the Gaboon, the missionaries 
have been obliged to refuse the earnest request of 
the natives for more teachers and ministers. Yon 
are, doubtless, aware of the fact that the chiefs in 
South Africa, in many places — chiefs representing 
tens of thousands of needy men, have gone hundreds 
of miles to the Bishop of Cape Town for teachers and 
clergymen, — yea, have written across the ocean to 
the Queen, pleading for help. And Dr. Ivrapf, that 
modern Paul, has the kings of mighty nations in Zan- 
guebar — nations extending four and five hundred 
miles in the interior, numbering millions of people — 

* The root of all this disposition seems to be the yearning of the 
native African for a higher religion ; and it is illustrated by the singular 
fact that Mohammedanism is rapidly and peaceably spreading all through 
the tribes of Western Africa, even to the Christian settlements of 


begging him to come and settle in their midst ; and 
he is almost the only man in East Africa, to meet the 
demand ! 

I have brought these facts before yon, Christian 
friends and brethren, because to my mind they as- 
sume a most marked importance, and seem to me 
to have a most clear and striking significance. It is 
but probable that to your minds their import may 
seem less weighty, and that through peculiarity of 
position, my own view of them may appear exag- 
gerated. I think, however, that a few considerations 
will show that I ought not to be regarded as san- 
guine ; and will cause the remarks I have made to 
stand out before your own minds as possessing an 
almost wondrous significance, and as being among 
the first marked fulfilments of the prophecy, that 
" Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto 
God." Just look at these facts — note the great prog- 
ress of the African race. See the civil and religious 
improvement they have made alike in Africa and 
in the lands of their captivity. Mark the religious 
solicitude they are manifesting on every hand. Ob- 
serve the peculiar providences which are just now 
occurring in connection with them ; and then remem- 
ber that nearly all these events, all this progress, has 
taken place during the short period of fifty years ; 
while in all the centuries past of the race, from the 
very dawn of history, the intellect, the moral nature, 
society, and civil government, had remained dormant 
and inert ! In his " History of the Decline and Fall 
of Rome," Gibbon remarks that " the rude ignorance 
of the Negro has never invented any effectual weap- 


ons of defence or of destruction : they appear h 
pable of forming any extensive plan of government, 

or of conquest ; and the obvious inferiority of their 
mental faculties has been discovered and abused by 
the nations of the temperate zone." * Gibbon made 
this assertion as a fact of history, not many years 
before the commencement of this century. Never 
before had the nations beheld any thing the reverse 
of his description. Nigh thirty centuries of the 
world's existence had rolled along, and yet an almost 
palpable gloom had brooded over the multitudinous 
masses of that thickly crowded continent. During 
the flight of those dark ages, not a healthful motion 
was given to the almost deadened life of its crowded 
population. The discoveries of Columbus took place, 
the Reformation ensued, and the art of printing was 
invented. These events revived the languid pulse 
of Europe, and stirred into activity the energies and 
skill of India, and broke up the perpetual solitudes 
of America, and poured therein life, civilization, and 

But to my poor father-land they brought chains 
and slavery, and the cruel desolations and the har- 
rowing atrocities of the slave trade, and the untold 
horrors of the mid-passage, and a deeper depth of 
misery and anguish than Africa had ever known in 
all her dark histories before. And thus from 1562, 
down to the commencement of this century, the dark 
and bloody history of Africa was lengthened out and 

* Pook 5. In quoting this remark, I would be understood as refer- 
ring it to the tribes and nations south of the desert only. 


prolonged, with, alas ! aggravations and intensities 
unknown in all her long previous eras. 

And now but fifty years have elapsed, and all 
this history is being reversed. The dark curtain is 
removed, and a brighter scene meets the view. God 
seems to have compressed in this single half-century 
the work and the blessings of thousands of years. 

And now I say that, looking at these facts as they 
stand before us — comparing them with the history 
of Africa, nigh three thousand years of a previous 
era — they appear marked, distinct, and marvellous. 
I say, that if the providences of God may be regarded 
as indications of His purposes and will ; then, inas- 
much as these providences are, in a marked degree, 
peculiar, so we may regard them as highly significant. 

I am aware that it is the part of a wise man not 
to be too sanguine. I know, too, that, looking at the 
untold, the unknown millions in Central Africa, upon 
whom the eyes of civilized man have never fallen, 
the work is yet but begun. But when I note the 
rapidity of God's work during the brief period I 
have mentioned, and know that God allows no ob- 
stacles to stand against Him and His cause, whether 
it be a pestilential shore, or a violent population, or 
a sanguinary king, or vindictive slave-dealers, or a 
slave-trading town like that of Lagos ; when I see 
these things, I cannot but believe that we are now 
approaching the fulfilment of this prophecy. "When 
I see, moreover, how this great continent is invested 
on every side by the zealous ardent missionary or 
the adventurous traveller ; how, almost weekly, some- 
thing is brought to our ears across the ocean, of new 


discovery, or of startling incident ; how that now 
there is every probability that soon the very heart 
of that continent, and all its centuries of mystery, 
will be revealed to the gaze and scrutiny of the civil- 
ized world ; and then, that by the common road, by 
trade, by commerce, by the flying wings of steamers, 
by caravans, by converted Africans, by civilized and 
pious Xegroes, from the West Indies or America, the 
Bible, the Prayer-Book, and Tracts, and the Church 
in all her functions and holy offices, will almost at 
once be introduced among the mighty masses of its 
population ; — when I see these things, my heart is 
filled with confident assurance — I cannot but believe 
that the day of Africa's redemption fast draweth 
nigh ! And vast and extensive as the work may be, 
it seems that it will be a most rapid one ; every thing 
gives this indication : for first, you will notice, that 
since the abolition of the slave trade, this race, in all 
its homes, has been going forward : it has had no- 
where any retrograde movements. And next, you 
will notice, that the improvement of this race, social, 
civil, and religious, has been remarkably quick, and 
has been, almost all, included in a very brief period ; 
and therefore I think that the work of evan^elizu- 
tion in this race will be a rapid one. So God, at 
times, takes " the staff of accomplishment " into His 
own hand, and fulfils His ends with speed. The 
children of Israel were thirty-nine years performing 
a journey, which could have been accomplished in 
a few days : but in the fortieth year they inarched 
a longer distance than all the years preceding, and 
entered, in a few weeks, at once, into the Promised 


Land. So God, now, nnseen to human eyes, may be 
leading on His hosts to a mighty victory over Satan ; 
and in the briefest of all the periods of the Church's 
warfare, may intend to accomplish the most brilliant 
and consummate of all His triumphs. And this is 
my conviction with regard to Africa. In my soul 
I believe that the time has come. I have the strong- 
est impression of the nigh approach of her bright day 
of deliverance. The night, I am convinced — the night 
of forlornness, of agony and desolation — is far spent, 
the day is at hand ! The black charter of crime and 
infamy and blood, which for nigh three centuries, has 
given up my father-land to the spoiler, is about to 
be erased ! The malignant lie, which would deliver 
up an entire race, the many millions of a vast conti- 
nent, to rapine and barbarism and benightedness, is 
now to be blotted out ! And if I read the signs of 
the times aright — if I am not deceived in supposing 
that now I see God's hand graciously opened for Africa 
— if to my sight now appear, with undoubted clear- 

" the baby forms 

Of giant figures yet to be," 

what a grand reversal of a dark destiny will it not 
be for poor bleeding Africa ! "What a delightful 
episode from the hopeless agony of her unmitigated, 
unalleviated suffering ! For ages hath she lain be- 
neath the incubus of the " demon of her idolatry." 
For ages hath she suffered the ravages of vice, cor- 
ruption, iniquity, and guilt. For ages hath she been 
" stricken and smitten " by the deadly thrusts of mur- 
der and hate, revenge and slaughter. Fire, famine, 


and the sword have been her distressful ravaging 
visitations. War, with devastating stride, hasrava 

her fair fields, and peopled her open and voracious 
tombs. The slave trade — that fell destroyer ! has fired 
the hamlets of her children — has sacked her cities — 
has turned the hands of her sons upon each other — 
and set her different communities at murderous strife, 
and colored their hands with fraternal blood ! Yea, 
every thing natural has been changed into the mon- 
strous ; and all things harmonious turned into discord 
and confusion. Earth has had her beauty marred by 
the bloody track of the cruel men who have robbed 
my father-land of her children : and the choral voice 
of ocean, which should lift up naught but everlasting 
symphonies in the ears of angels and of God, has 
been made harsh and dissonant, by the shrieks and 
moans and agonizing cries of the poor victims, who 
have either chosen a watery grave in preference to 
slavery, or else have been cast into its depths, the 
sick and the emaciated, by the ruthless slave-dealer ! 
And then, when landed on the distant strand — the 
home of servitude, the seat of oppression — then has 
commenced a system of overwork and physical en- 
durance, incessant and unrequited — a series of pain- 
ful tasks, of forced labor, of want and deprivation, 
and lashings, and premature deaths, continued from 
generation to generation, transmitted as the only in- 
heritance of poor, helpless humanity, to children's 
children ! 

But now there is a new spirit abroad — not only 
in the Christian world, but likewise through the dif- 
ferent quarters of her own broad continent. There 


is an uprising of her sons from intellectual sloth and 
spritual inertness ; a seeking and a stretching forth 
of her hands, for light, instruction, and spirituality, 
such as the world has never before seen ; and which 
gives hopes that the days of Cyprian and Augustine 
shall again return to Africa ; when the giant sins 
and the deadly evils, which have ruined her, shall 
be effectually stayed ; and when Ethiopia, from the 
Atlantic to the Indian Ocean — from the Mediterra- 
nean to the Cape, " shall stretch out her hands unto 

But it may be asked, "What relation have the 
remarks I have made this evening, to the subject of 
the Ladies' Negro Emancipation Society ? Much 
every way : and I proceed now to point out this re- 
lation, and the obligation which it appears to me to 
ensue thereon. 

I have endeavored to show this evening that God 
is laying bare His arm just now for Africa and the 
Negro race ; — is bringing to a rapid end their long 
and grievous servitude ; — and is showing, in His mys- 
terious providence, that, however grievous, in the 
past, to flesh and blood, has been their lot, that He 
meant it for good. Now the Almighty has placed 
a very considerable section of this race under your 
care, control, and government. They inhabit all those 
islands in the Caribbean Sea, which have come into 
your possession by discovery, or which have been 
purchased by the heroic sacrifice of blood, or won 
by bravery or prowess. They are the dwellers of 
some of the most productive portions of the globe, 
lying in the bright and genial bounds of the tropics. 


They are the laboring population of lands which yield 
those articles, once termed luxuries, but which are 
now the most important and lucrative articles of 
commerce. And they are the peasantry of proviuces 
which soon will be the high road of the globe — the 
central depots of the world's trade ; and through 
which, ere long, will be poured the vast and mag- 
nificent treasures of the East. 

These islands must, without doubt, be held in 
high estimation by you as their owners and proprie- 
tors. It may be, however, that you have adopted 
the new and current dogma, that is, that colonies are 
a useless, costly burden, which should be disposed 
of as soon as possible ; and, if you have, then there 
is no need that I should further press this subject 
upon your attention. But if you have not adopted 
this opinion, and if you do value your colonial pos- 
sessions, then you must see the need that these people 
— the Xegro peasantry — should be trained to be hon- 
est, moral, industrious, intelligent, and thrifty. But 
in order that they may become fixed in moral and 
industrious habits, they must receive a moral and 
religious training. Heretofore, as you know, the 
school in which they have been educated was the 
school of slavery — a school which yields naught but 
the productive spawn of vice, and sloth, and igno- 
rance, and superstition — a school in which indolence 
was respectability, and labor was degradation and 
vileness. Since emancipation, however, vigorous 
efforts have been made to extend to them the ad- 
vantages of education. To a very large extent this 
has been done by the Ladies' Negro Emancipation 


Society, with zeal and with success ; for hundreds 
of schools have "been founded by them, thousands 
of children have "been instructed, churches and chapels 
have been called into existence, and teachers and 
ministers have been supplied. These have been the 
direct and the indirect results of this Society's efforts. 
But what is remarkable is, that while the wide and 
merciful blessings of this Society have been faBing 
"like gentle dew from heaven " upon the objects of 
its benevolence, its work has been silently done ; its 
operations have been carried on quietly and unosten- 
tatiously ; so much so, indeed, that thousands of in- 
telligent persons do not know of even the existence 
of the Ladies' Negro Emancipation Society. But 
however much like gentle woman it may be that 
these generous Christian ladies should thus, at once, 
" silent and unseen," exert themselves, it can be so 
no longer. Events have occurred which drive them 
before the public, and which require them to make 
most earnest appeals for aid. Formerly they were 
aided by grants from Government and from the 
Colonial Legislatures, and they received considerable 
contributions from the emancipated blacks themselves. 
But now the sad wreck of pecuniary resources, the 
blight of bankruptcy which has fallen upon the West 
India proprietors, has completely cut off these sources 
of aid and assistance. The planters and the Local 
Government can no longer help them ; the Home 
Government has withdrawn its grants. And though 
I must say, as my firm belief and conviction — a con- 
viction founded on a careful study of reports and 
documents — that amid the general wreck the black 


population, on the whole, is rising, yea, in some places, 
rising on the ruins of the planters," yet it is also 
the sad fact, that, in some places, they are going down 
to ruin with the proprietors : a ruin, alas ! which 

* This I believe to be a true statement of the case : the black popu- 
lation generally, are advancing, to the disadvantage of the planters. The 
West Indian party in this country, and the pro-slavery party in the 
United States, maintain, that emancipation is a failure, and that the black 
population are fast degenerating into barbarism. As proof of this, they 
refer to Jamaica : — in the other islands the proprietors have suffered but 
little ; but in Jamaica there has been an almost utter prostration of this 
class. The inference drawn from this is, that emancipation is a failure. 

A few items will enable us to see whether this representation is alto- 
gether correct : 

1. For whose benefit was emancipation effected? For the planting 
population only, or the black also ? The census of the island of Jamaica 
will help decide this matter, if even the past history and injuries of the 
Negro race do not. According to the received estimate of 1850, of the 
400,000 people in the island, 10,000 were white, and 384,000 black and 
colored. It is but fair, then, that this large black and colored population 
should have a very considerable interest in the results of emancipation. 

2. Have the black and colored population received any advantage 
through emancipation? In 1833, they were, nearly all, "chattels," 
" marketable commodities," poor, penniless, — not even possessing them- 
selves. Is their condition any better now ? I answer this question, by 
quoting from a valuable and impartial work entitled "Jamaica in 1850," 
by J. Bigelow, Esq., an American gentleman. He says: "I was sur- 
prised to find how general was the desire among the Negroes to become 
possessed of a little land, and upon what sound principles that was based," 
(see p. 1 15.) "I was greatly surprised to find the number of these colored 
proprietors — OYEB ONI hundred THOUSAND, and constantly increasing," 
(p. 1 1G.) " When one reflects that only sixteen years ago there was scarcely 
a colored landholder upon the island, and that now there are a hundred 
thousand, it is unnecessary to say that this class of the population appre- 
ciate the privileges of free labor, and a homestead, l L6.) "They 
raise not only what they require for their own consumption, but a surplus 
which they take to market, &c., &c," (p. 117.) "Of course it requires 
no little self-denial and energy for a Negro, upon the wages now paid in 



involves the wreck of immortal souls, with the lesser 
evil of confused and disastrous material interests. 
And surely this melancholy state of affairs cannot 

Jamaica, to lay up enough with which to purchase one of these proper- 
ties," (p. 118.) 

3. Political power. " The political power of the island is rapidly 
passing into the same hands, (the black people's.) The possession of four 
or five acres of land confers a right to vote on the selection of members 
of Assembly. The blacks are ambitious to possess and exercise this 
privilege; it causes them to be courted and respected. It is only a 
short time since there were no colored people returned to that body. 
In the last Assembly there -were a dozen. No Xegro ever had a seat 
there till the session before the last, when one was returned. In the 
last session there were three. It is safe to say, that in a very few years 
the blacks and browns will be in a clear majority. They already hold 
the balance of power," (p. 157.) 

4. Distinguished Negroes and colored men. " One of the most 
distinguished barristers on the island is a colored man, who was educated 
at an English University, and ate his terms at Lincoln's Inn," (p. 23.) 
Speaking of the Surrey Assize, he says, (p. 25 :) " Two colored lawyers 
were sitting at the barristers' table, and the jury-box was occupied by 
twelve men, all but three of whom were colored." 

In a statement made by G. W. Alexander, of London, who recently 
visited the West Indies, I find that there arc between 30 and 40,000 
black voters in Jamaica. 

The Rev. Mr. Dowding, who has lived many years in the West Indies, 
thus speaks of the black population in general: "They are now in the 
fullest career of improvement, and after knowledge of them, as parish- 
ioners, both young and old, in the school, in the family, and at the sick 
bedside, it is impossible not to call them a most promising people ; in- 
telligent, orderly, and (for the most part) religious. 

"It is not necessary for our purpose that we should make out a case, 
and I have no wish to hide either their foibles or their faults. It would 
be strange indeed if they had not both ; but let it be remembered that 
within the last twenty years these people were salable like the brutes 
that perish ; suffered (almost encouraged) to live as the brutes ; and it 
needs., must be considered a most significant fact, that they have risen to 
the requirements of their condition so rapidly, and taken possession of 


but have its due and powerful influence upon your 
minds and upon your charity. 

Bat besides this claim upon your interest, your 
generosity, and your zeal, as Englishmen, there is 
another earnest consideration, and one which appeals 
to you on a higher principle, that is, as Christians. 

When I commenced my. remarks I said that it 
was a cherished idea of many of the supporters of 
this Society, that their labors might eventually tell 
upon Africa. Christian friends, this is no longer a 
mere idea. It is, in very deed, one of the results 

their freedom with so little effort. Whilst in these regions many are 
still thinking of the Negro as an animal who wears a monkey-face, and 
says ' massa,' with just wit enough to be cunning, and just English 
enough to lie, there is a race growing up in those Western Inlands, 
seemly in their bearing, and very often handsome, (civilization and im- 
provement fast ercolizing their features, and effacing the uncomeliness 
of the African type;) their peasants as intelligent and intelligible as our 
own; their advanced classes already a powerful bourgeoisie, of whose 
future position we have an instalment in this, that even now (and I 
pray it be carefully marked) it has its merchants, its barristers, its 
clergymen, its magistrates, its members of Assembly, and (even) its 
members of Council."—" Africa in the West," by Kev. W. C. Dowding, 
M. A. 

Both Mr. Dowding and Mr. Bigelow speak impartially of the char- 
acter of the West Indian blacks, and mention their failings as well as 
their virtues ; yet their common testimony evidences the improvement 
of my race in the British West Indies. But why is it, it may lie asked, 
that so many writers declare emancipation a failure, and that the Xegro 
race is degenerating? The reasons are briefly these: 1. Because most 
persons think that the only important parties in the British West Indies, 
are the planters; and consequently that the ruin of this small item of 
the population, is the ruin of the population itself; forgetful of the fact 
that their numbers are inconsiderable; that they have always hecn in 
pecuniary embarrassment ; and above all that, from the nature of the 
case, there is no hope for slave-holders : they moat go to ruin ! 


which God's providence has already wrought, in a 
partial degree, for Africa, through your "West Indian 
islands. The ways of God are most mysterious — 
past finding out ! He sees what man's short sight 
cannot perceive ; and takes the direst human work- 
ings into his own hands, for enlarged and most be- 
neiicent ends. And herein we may see the plastic 
power and the transforming energy of that perfect 
wisdom and that omnipotent hand, which knoweth 
all things, and which worketh as it wills, His own 
great ends. It seems now quite clear that the children 
of that very people, who for nearly three centuries 
have been passing through the dread ordeal of slavery 
in your "W r est Indian colonies, are yet to be the spe- 
cial messengers of glad tidings to their father-land. 
Already several missionary companies of black men 
from your islands have gone to the land of their 
fathers. One case I may mention : some African 
converts from Jamaica, feeling that they ought to 
do something for their father-land, went, four years 
ago, as teachers, to the Calabar, at the mouth of the 
Niger ; and already as the first fruits of their labors, 
the king of one of the small tribes has been converted, 
and is attempting to introduce civilized habits, and 
has already established the observance of the Sab- 
bath. Indeed, so important has this movement be- 
come, that a Society has been formed, as I have be- 
fore remarked, to give it form, order, system, and 
distinctness ; and there is every probability that soon 
it will become one of the great colonizing move- 
ments of this colonizing age, with this difference, 
that is, that it will he conducted on a principle, 


and that it will have as its main object the glory 
of God! 

The train of thought I have presented this even- 
ing furnishes ground, I think, for the following sug- 
gestions : 

1. It shows, first of all, that the Negro race pos- 
sesses strong vital power. I think the facts to which 
I have already called your attention evince this : they 
show that, amid the most distressful allotments, this 
race clings to life ; and that God has most benignantly 
cared for them, in times past, notwithstanding all their 
fiery trials. The contrast between this people, in this 
respect, and some others, is most striking. Wherever 
European civilization has been planted, there generally 
the natives have vanished, as the morning mist before 
the rising of the sun. The Indians of North America 
are fast fading away. The natives of Yan Dieman's 
Land are gone. The many millions that once peopled 
the clustering islands of the "West Indian Archipelago 
have vanished before the presence and the power of 
the white man, and will never again return from the 
deep repose of the tomb, until they arise at the final 
day for accusation as well as for judgment. The 
aborigines of the South Sea islands, of New Zealand, 
of Australia, are departing, like the shadow, before 
the rising sun of the Anglo-Saxon emigrant. It is 
said that no statesmanship, no foresight, no Christian 
benevolence can preserve the Sandwich Islanders. 
There is something exceedingly sorrowful in this 
funereal procession of the weak portions of mankind, 
before the advancing progress of civilization and en- 


lightenment ! But amid all these sad general facts 
there seems to be one exception — the Kegko ! The 
ravages of the slave trade would seem sufficient to 
produce extermination : the mid-passage alone is 
enough to destroy any people ! It has not destroyed 
the vitality of the Negro ! 'The vast interior of Africa 
teems with the countless millions of an unnumbered 
population ; and in the land of the Negro's enthral- 
ment, the race increases with a rapidity which sur- 
prises the keenest calculator, and which carries fear 
to the heart of the oppressor. These facts I take and 
mention as indications that Divine Providence designs 
a ruTUEE for this people. They appear to me tokens 
and evidences that this particular section of the human 
species is not doomed to destruction, but that the 
elevation, the civilization, the evangelization of the 
Negro are determined purposes of the Divine mind for 
the future. " Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands 
unto God." 

2. The remarks I have made show us, in the sec- 
ond place, that God has given this race a strong moral 

Although the Christian zeal and endeavor of the 
Church are by no means to be determined by the 
richness or the hardness of the soil in which the truth 
is to be planted, still it is cause of great encourage- 
ment, and an incentive to higher effort, when we find 
a people in whose nature there is congruity, so far 
as that can be in wretched humanity, with the spirit 
of our Holy Faith, and who desire the possession of 
it. The Negro race manifests this peculiar trait of 
character : it is a race, I think I may say, remarkably 


among the charities of England ; and therefore, as 
a son of Africa, deeply interested in the welfare of 
a race which, of all others, may be called the u suf- 
fering race," anxious that the precious things of Jesus 
may be known of them for comfort and for consola- 
tion, I venture to ask you this evening most generous 
contributions to this important Society, and a zealous, 
affectionate interest in Africa and the Xegro race. 
If an English Christian grieves at the remembrance 
of wrongs inflicted upon Africa ; — if his deepest sensi- 
bilities are affected at the darkness and the sin which 
still prevails through all her borders ; — if he anxiously 
desires the spread of the Gospel through all her quar- 
ters ; — if he wishes to see her sons, in every part of 
the earth, stand up erect, blessed with the liberty 
wherewith the Gospel makes men free ; then, I say, 
that by participating in the labors, and sharing the 
burdens of this Society, he is privileged, in the Divine 
providence, to realize, to a measurable degree, all his 
desires. For thereby he can be giving to the children 
of Africa the best compensation, even the Gospel ; and 
be turning back the stream of misery into a tide of 
blessing ; and joining in with God in directing most 
marvellous purposes, and proclaiming abroad, through 
those who — by birth and color, by the sympathy of 
suffering, by common hopes and aspirations — seem 
pointed out as the fittest agents, the marvels of that 
grace, and the wondrous efficacy of that blood, and 
the power of that name which is above every name 
— even of Him " who is above all, and through all, 
and in you all." " To whom," &c. 


docile, affectionate, easily attached, and when attached, 
ardently devoted — a race with the strongest religions 
feelings, sentiments, and emotions — a race plastic in 
nature, with a native mobility and adaptedness which 
at once saves them from those deadly shocks and an- 
tagonisms which destroy races when placed in juxta- 
position with elements diverse from and stronger than 
their own — a race patient and enduring ; ambitious 
as any other for freedom ; but wdien, in the stern 
collisions of this forceful, heartless life of onrs, stricken 
down by the iron hand of mere brute power, not 
given to despair, but content to use the genial teach- 
ings of Hope, and to wait for the future, in calm 
abidance and with confident assurance. These ele- 
ments of character — these qualities and dispositions, 
show that God has kindly bestowed a nature upon 
this race, which is a gracious preparation for the en- 
trance of His Gospel — a nature which seems the 
highest natural type of Christian requirement. 

3. I remark, in the last place, that in His gifts 
of nature and in His preserving favor upon my race, 
we may see the training hand of God upon them, in 
all their scattered homes, for high ends and purposes, 
in the future, and also the Church's opportunity and 
her duty. 

I need not dwell upon this point, for I have 

already, in a general way, disclosed the wondrous 

providences of God upon the race, in every quarter 

of the globe where they are living. Dark and dreary 

has been their way through their many avenues of pain, 

and distress, and agony, during the long centuries of 

their distressful pilgrimage, and yet they have not 


been deserted of God. Surely their history warrants 
the affirmation that " the angel of His presence saved 
them ; " and now, when all His purposes of trial and 
of training, of suffering and of sorrow, are well nigh 
fulfilled, the Almighty casts down all the barriers of 
restraint : a light seems of a sudden to shine into their 
dark prison-house, and a divine voice to say unto them, 
" Arise up quickly ; and their chains fall off from their 
hands ; " * and a mission appears to be given them, 
whether in Sierra Leone, or the "West Indies, or 
America, to start up from the ashes, and go forth to 
their needy kin in heathenism : — " Go stand and speak 
. . . to the people all the words of this life." f 

This aspect of the matter, that is, God's training 
of the people for His own great work in Africa, I 
have brought before you already in preceding re- 
marks ; and in it you can easily see the importance 
of your black West Indian population with reference 
to Africa, and likewise the Church's opportunity 
and duty for the glory of God and the honor of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. You see herein also the great 
value and importance of this Society for which I am 
pleading. In aiding the Society, you are not only 
building up your own possession, but you are also 
becoming co-workers with God in some of His great- 
est purposes. In contributing to the funds of this 
association, you touch, with a gracious saving influ- 
ence, the needy people of two hemispheres. In join- 
ing in the labors of these benevolent ladies, you are 
evangelizing both the West Indies and Africa. 

I repeat, therefore, that this is one of the chief 

* Acts xii. V. f Acts r. 20. 


The chief object of this paper is to show the fal- 
sity of the opinion that the sufferings and the slavery 
of the Negro race are the consequence of the curse of 
Noah, as recorded in Genesis ix. 25. That this is a 
general, almost universal, opinion in the Christian 
world, is easily proven. During the long controversy 
upon the slavery question which has agitated Chris- 
tendom, no argument has been so much relied upon, 
and none more frequently adduced. It was first em- 
ployed in vindication of the lawfulness of the slave 

* This paper was originally written as a letter, in reply to another 
from an eminent philanthropic lady in Cheltenham, England. She com- 
municated it to the then Editor of the London " Christian Observer," in 
which monthly it was published in September, 1852. Subsequent to 
this, in compliance with the request of many persons, it was rewritten 
and prepared, in its present form, for publication as a tract. Perhaps 
the Author may be permitted to say here, that it has had the advai. 
of being read by the late Rev. G. Stanley Faber, D. D., of Sherburne, the 
distinguished author of many learned works, who expressed his approba- 
tion of it, and presented the writer with his learned and able work, 
"Prophetical Dissertations," in which the writer found that Mr. 
Faber had, several years ago, taken the same view of Gen. ix. 25, as is 
contained in this article. 


trade. "When the slave trade was abolished, and 
philanthropists commenced their warfare against the 
system of slavery, the chief pro-slavery argument 
brought forward in support of that system was this 
text. The friends of the Xesrro race have had to meet 
it when asserted by statesmen in the Legislature, and 
they have had to contend against the earnest affirma- 
tion of it by learned divines. And now, although 
both slavery and the slave trade are condemned by 
the general sentiment of the Christian world, yet the 
same interpretation is still given to this text, and the 
old opinion which was founded on it still gains credit 
and receives support. Its insidious influence relaxes 
the missionary zeal of even many pious persons, who 
can see no hope for Africa, nor discover any end to 
the slavery of its sons. It is found in books written 
by learned men ; and it is repeated in lectures, 
speeches, sermons, and common conversation. So 
strong and tenacious is the hold which it has taken 
upon the mind of Christendom, that it seems almost 
impossible to uproot it. Indeed, it is an almost fore- 
gone conclusion, that the Negro race is an accursed 
race, weighed down, even to the present, beneath the 
burden of an ancestral malediction. The prejudice 
against this race seems as wide, as absolute, and as 
decided, as that entertained by the Jews against the 



A very few references to writers in the past and 
at the present will show the prejudiced views of even 



An Examination of Genesis ix. 25. 




" And God blessed Noah and his soxs." — Gen. ix. 1. 

"And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And 
I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after 
you. * * * * And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I 
make between me and you, and every living creature that is with you, 
for perpetual generations." — Gex. ix. 8, 12. 

" And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." 

— Acts iii. 25. 

" And there shall be no more curse." — Rev. xxii. 3. 


eminently good men upon this topic. Poole admits 
the primary and pointed application of the curse to 
Canaan ; he also acknowledges the subsequent power 
and greatness of the other three sons of Ham, and the 
spiritual blessedness which ultimately attended them ; 
yet, with singular inconsistency, in another place, he 
involves Ham, the father, in the curse, which he de- 
clares to have been pointed at his son Canaan. He 
says : " When Canaan is mentioned, Ham is not 
exempted from the curse, but rather more deeply 
plunged into it ; whilst he is pronounced accursed, 
not only in his person, (which is manifestly supposed 
by his commission of that sin for which the curse was 
inflicted,) but also in his posterity, which doubtless 
was a great aggravation of his grief." * 

The learned and pious Matthew Henry says : 
" He (that is, Noah) pronounces a curse on Canaan, 
the son of Ham, in whom Ham himself is cursed ; 
either because this son of his was now more guilty 
than the rest, or because the posterity of this son were 
afterward to be rooted out of their land, to make 
room for Israel." f Again, in another place, speaking 
of the division of the families of the earth, he says : 
" The birthright was now to be divided between Sliem 
and Japheth, Ham being utterly discarded." 

Bishop JSTewton, in the first place, applies this 
prophecy to Canaan and his descendants ; but he af- 
terward gives a fanciful correction of the text, on the 
authority of the Scptuagint and the Arabic version; 
and then asks : " May we not suppose that the copv- 

* Poole on Gen. ix. 25. 

f See Henry's Commentary on Gen. ix. 


ist, by mistake, wrote only Canaan, instead of Ham, 
the father of Canaan, and that the whole passage was 
originally thus : And Ham, the father of Canaan, 
saw the nakedness of his father, &c. &c. And he said, 
Cursed be Ham, the father of Canaan, &c. ? " He then 
goes on to remark : " By this reading all the three 
sons of Koah are included in the prophecy, whereas 
otherwise Ham, who was the offender, is excluded, or 

is only punished in one of his children 

The whole continent of Africa was peopled principally 
by the children of Ham ; and for how many ages 
have the better parts of that country lain under the 
dominion of the Romans, and then of the Saracens, 
and now of the Turks ! In what wickedness, igno- 
rance, barbarity, slavery, misery, live most of the in- 
habitants ! And of the poor ."Negroes, how many hun- 
dreds every year are sold and bought like beasts in 
the market, and are conveyed from one quarter of the 
world to do the work of beasts in another ! Nothing 
can be more complete than the execution of the sen- 
tence upon Ham, as well as upon Canaan." * 

The excellent Rev. Thomas Scott says : " The 
frequent mention of Ham as the father of Canaan, 
suggests the thought that the latter was also criminal. 

Ham must have felt it a very mortifying 

rebuke, when his own father was inspired, on this oc- 
casion, to predict the durable oppression and slavery 
of his posterity ; Canaan was also rebuked by learn- 
ing that the curse would especially rest on that branch 
of the family which would descend from him ; for his 
posterity were no doubt principally, though not ex- 

* See Newton on Prophecies, Dissertation I. 


clusivcly, intended True religion has hith- 
erto flourished very little among Ham's descendants ; 
they remain to this day almost entire strangers to 
Christianity, and their condition, in every age, has re- 
markably coincided with this prediction." :: " 

Similar views are expressed by Keito, who re- 
marks : " The unnatural conduct of Ham, and the 
dutiful and respectful behavior of Shem and Japheth 
toward their aged father, gave rise to the prediction 
of the future fate of their posterity, without being at 

all assigned as the cause of that fate Though 

long banished from almost all Europe, slavery still 
lingers in Africa. That country is distinguished, above 
every other, as the land of slavery. Slaves at home, 
and transported for slavery, the poor Africans, the 
descendants of Ham, are the servants of servants, or 
slaves to others." f 

In a popular work much used in the schools and the 
universities of England, this comment upon the curse 
of Xoah is found : " These prophecies (Gen. ix. 25- 
27) have since been wonderfully fulfilled ; the Egyp- 
tians were afflicted with various plagues ; the land of 
Canaan, eight hundred years afterward, was deliv- 
ered by God into the hands of the Israelites under 
Joshua, who destroyed great numbers, and obliged 
the rest to fly, some into Africa, and others into va- 
rious countries ; what their condition is in Africa, we 
know at this day." X 

* Scott on Gen. ix. 24, 25. 
f See Keith on the Prophecies. 

\ Analysis of Scripture History, by Rev. W. II. Pinnock, B. C. L. 
" What tlicir condition is in Africa, ice know at this day." WJiosc con- 


The Rev. Dr. Cumming, of London, thus dis- 
courses upon this subject : 

" Bead the predictions respecting JSa?n, that his 
descendants, the children of Africa, should be bonds- 
men of bondsmen. England nobly sacrificed twenty 
millions, in order to wash her hands of the heinous 
crime and horrible abominations of slavery, and sent 
her cruisers to sweep the seas of every craft that ven- 
tured to encourage the inhuman traffic. But while 
God is not the author of sin, nor man irresponsible for 
his crimes, slavery has grown under all the attempts 
to extinguish it, and shot up in spite of the power of 
Britain and the piercing protest of outraged human- 
ity, the hour of its extinction not having yet come ; 
thereby showing that heaven and earth may pass 
away, but that one jot or tittle of God's word cannot 
pass away." * 


The writer of this paper differs from the distin- 
guished persons here referred to. He regards the 
prevalent opinions upon this subject a sad perversion 
of Biblical history on the part of the intelligent minds 
that have stereotyped them, during the last century 
and a half, in the literature and theology of the Eng- 
lish language. 

In considering this subject, there is one material 
point which should be carefully noticed — a point upon 
which nearly all writers upon the subject have greatly 

dition ? Some would suppose that Africa was peopled in the mass by 
Canaanites. Surely this is loose writing, and inaccurate history. 
* Exeter Hall Lecture. 


erred : The curse was pronounced upon Canaan, not 
upon 11am. " And lie said, Cursed be Canaan, a 
servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." 
Gen. ix. 25. This is the utterance of the Divine word, 
clear, plain, distinct. There may be differences of 
opinion as to the cause, the nature, the extent, the jus- 
tice, and the influence of this judgment ; but as it 
respects the person who is cursed, the word of God is 
specific and pointed : " Cursed be Canaan ; " and in 
this we have the curse, direct. 

JSo one, indeed, can deny that learned and distin- 
guished divines have thought that Ham fell under the 
dire influence of this strong malediction. The suppo- 
sitions of such most eminent divines as Poole, and 
Henry, and Newton, have already been presented. 
But what are they when contrasted with the distinct 
and emphatic word of God? They suppose that Ham 
was cursed ; the word of God says, " Cursed be Ca- 

But, as though the Holy Spirit intended that there 
should be no error or mistake in the matter, we find 
the curse upon Canaan repeated, that is, by implica- 
tion, again and again, in this same chapter, (chap, ix.,) 
both in the context and Bab-text. In the 18th verse 
of this (ix.) chapter it is written : " And the sons of 
Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and 
Ham, and Japheth ; and Ham is the father of Ca- 
naan" "Why are Shem and Japheth spoken of indi- 
vidually^ while Ham is mentioned i 'ion to his 
son Can . ^hjj there can be no doubt that this 

* Mr. 1 kg, "Why Ham should be specially distinguished as 

the father of Canaan, while, in the vert/ same prophecy, his two brothers 


form of expression was designed to point out Ca- 
naan as a marked individual. 

In verses 26 and 27 we find the same form of ex- 
pression twice, " and Canaan shall be his servant." 
We now have the curse indirect. In both cases, how- 
ever, it is manifest that Canaan was the person sub- 
jected to this curse. Neither directly nor indirectly 
is Ham, the father, denounced by Noah ; and there- 
fore we have the authority of the word of God, for 
the affirmation that the curse was not pronounced 
upon Ham.* 

Now, in order to involve the" Negro race in this 
malediction, one of two things must be proved : 

1st. That Noah, in mentioning Canaan, intended 
to include all the children of Ham ; or, 

2d. That the Negro race, in Africa, are the descen- 
dants of Canaan. 


It cannot be proved that cdl the sons of Ham were 
included in the curse pronounced upon Canaan. Ham 
had four sons : " And the sons of Ham, Cush, and 
Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan." Gen. x. 6. Ca- 

are simply mentioned as Shem and Japheth, without any parallel gene- 
alogical adjunct to their names." See "Prophetical Dissertations:" 
Dis. ii. p. 102, note. 

* In an old work entitled " The General History of the World," I 
find the following sentence : " Some have believed that Noah cursed 
Canaan because he could not well have cursed Ham himself, whom God 
had not long before blessed." And he refers to Sermon 29, Chrysostom. 
in Genesis. 


naan, it is evident, was the youngest of these sons, and 
Cnsh the 1 

Now 3 the common rule among men is that " the 
greater INCLUDES THE less." If, therefore, Cnsh, the 
eldest of the sons of Ham, had been the person 
cursed, then there would have been some strength and 
plausibility in the plea, that, according to this princi- 
ple, a curse upon him, that is, Cusli, as the head and 
representative of the family, involved a curse upon 
his three younger brothers. But the curse was upon 
the youngest, Canaan. And there is no received rule 
among men, the reverse of that here quoted, that is, 
that " the less includes the greater." 

So, also, if Ham himself had been the person de- 
signated by Xoah, then all disputation upon this mat- 
ter would be, at once, at an end ; for then the infer- 
ence would be natural, legitimate, and indisputable, 
that all his posterity were implicated in the curse 
which fell upon himself. But this fact is nowhere 
stated in Scripture. It does, indeed, eecord God's 


* It is objected to the view taken, in this paper, of Gen. ix. 25, that 
Ham is left neither blessed nor cursed; and hence divines include 
in the curse on Canaan. But it is a singular fact, that all the commen- 
tators neglect to notice the fact that Ham had just received a blessing 
from God. 

In Genesis ix. 1, we read: "And God blessed Xoah and I 
and said unto them, Be fruitful," &c, &c. And in \ and 12 it 

reads: "And God spake onto Noah, and to his sons W/// Attn, Baying, 
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with y | 

after you And God said, This is the token of the 1 

which I make between me and you, and every living ci bat is with 

you, for ]>< rpetual 

The question here arises, " Docs Noah's curse {incidental to Ham'* 


this is universally passed over and ignored ; but 
that he was cursed by Koah is only one of the con- 
jectures of men. In the sacred record Ave find Ca- 
naan's name, and his only, mentioned as the person 

It is mentioned, moreover, in such a way as 
though the Divine mind intended there should be a 
marked significance connected with it. For why, 
when the Scripture narrative is so careful to give the 
names of Ham's four sons, according to seniority, 
why is Canaan's name — the name of the youngest 
— selected, singled out, and repeated, no less than 
five different times, in the brief narrative which re- 
cords this remarkable event ? * Surely for no other 
reason than to mark him distinctly as the individual 
referred to, and to separate his three elder brothers 
from the curse. 

The -argument of an American writer upon this 
point is of great force, and deserves notice. He ad- 
duces c; two rules of law and logic, viz. : enumeration 
weakens, in cases not enumerated ; exceptions strength- 
en, in cases not excepted. In the curse Canaan is 
enumerated, and therefore the probability of its appli- 
cation to his brothers is weakened by this enumera- 
tion, and in the blessings bestowed upon Shem and 
Japheth, in the next two verses, Canaan, and not Ham 
and his posterity, is excepted ; and therefore the prob- 

yoimgest son) override the blessing of God, for perpetual generations, to 
Ham and his seed, in the general and particular blessings of Gen. ix. 
9 and 12? Does the curse of man supersede and set aside the covenanted 
blessings of God ? 

* See Genesis ix. 18, 22, 25, 26, 27. 


ability of the exclusive application of the curse to 
Canaan is strengthened by this exception." * : ' 

The testimony of Josephus accords with this the- 
ory. He says : " Noah spared Hani by reason of his 
nearness of blood, but cursed his posterity ; and when 
the rest of them (/. &, of the children of Ham) es- 
caped that curse, God inflicted it on the children of 
Canaan. f 

This argument is strengthened and confirmed by a 
reference to the counterpart of this curse, which is 
seen in God's dealings with the Canaanitcs. It is seen 
in those severe commands to the Hebrews on their 
entrance into the promised land, to expel and destroy 
the devoted Canaanites. The indictment against this 
wicked and profane people is written, in fearfully 
descriptive terms, in the 18th chapter of Leviticus, 
which enumerates the aggravated crimes on account 
of which the Almighty was about calling them to 
judgment.^ The events which followed, in conse- 
quence of the commands of Jehovah to the Hebrews, 
have always been taken as the fulfilment of this pre- 
diction of Noah. By Jew and Christian Gentile, in 
the early periods of the Church, and in more recent 
times by writers upon prophecy, and by commenta- 
tors upon the Bible, the havoc and destruction visited 
upon the Canaanites have been regarded, not only as 
a punishment for their wickedness, but also as the 
counterpart to the prediction of jSToah, and as a 

* I cannot give the name of the writer of the above. I found this 
extract in the fragment of a newspaper. 

f Josephus, " Antiquities of the Jews," B. i. Ch. vi. 
% See Lev. xviii. 24-28. 


complete fulfilment of his prophetic curse upon 

To sum up, then, we have, for the application and 
limitation of this curse to Canaan and his posterity 
only, the following facts and arguments : 

1. The text of Genesis. 

2. Two fundamental rules of law and logic. 

3. The testimony of Josephus. 

4. The Scriptural account of the fate of the Ca- 


But, in reply to the above arguments, it may be 
said that, granting that the three elder sons of Ham 
were not under the curse, nevertheless the Xegro race 
may be the descendants of Canaan, and hence under 
the infliction of this prophetic judgment. 

The facts of the case warrant the most positive de- 
nial of the assertion that the 2segro race are the de- 
scendants of Canaan. In fact, of all the sons of Ham, 
Canaan was the only one who never entered Africa. 
Of this there is abundant evidence, sacred and pro- 

The evidence, so far as Scripture is concerned, is 
given us in Gen. x. 19 : " And the border of the Ca- 
naanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, 
unto Gaza ; as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, 
and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha." The 
locality here designated is evidently the land of Pal- 
estine, and in Asia ; and in the Pentateuch, this region 
is frequently called the land of Canaan. 

A reference to the names of the descendants of 


Canaan will tend to place this still more distinctly be- 
fore us. In Gen. x. 15-1S, we find the following 
statement : " And Canaan begat Sidon, his first-born, 
and lleth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and 
the Girgasite, and the Ilivite, and the Arkite," c 
&c. These names, most surely, are not African, nor 
do they indicate African' localities. We recognize in 
Sidon the name of that city, celebrated in history for 
its commerce and luxury, which stood on the Medi- 
terranean, at the north of Palestine. The Hittites were 
the descendants of TIeth, and lived in nearly the same 
quarter. The Jebusites were the descendants of Je- 
bus, and their locality w r as the spot on which Jerusa- 
lem was built. And the Amorites, Girgasites, etc., 
are frequently mentioned in the Old Testament as in- 
habitants of the land of Canaan. 

The profane historical evidence is brief, but clear, 
weighty, and decisive : it is the evidence of Josephus, 
who says : " Canaan, the fourth son of Ham, inhabit- 
ed the country now called Judea, and called it, from 
his own name, Canaan." " :: " 

It appears, then, from the evidence adduced, that 
this curse, in its significance and locality, is alto- 
gether Asiatic, and not African. Asia was the field 
on which the Canaanites moved, and whence their 
history is derived. The Canaanites of old were Asia- 
tics, that is, so far as residence is concerned ; and the 
mass of their descendants, if existing anywhere, are 
the modern Syrians. 

Again, the above facts and arguments may be op- 
posed by some, by the fact that some of the Canaan- 

* Josephus, u Antiquities of the Jews," B. i. Ch. vi. 


ites established themselves on the north coast of Afri- 
ca, in a colony. But it is quite evident that the Ne- 
gro race, which mostly peoples that vast continent, 
could not have proceeded from them : — 

1. Because the establishment of Carthage, the 
great Phoenician (Canaanitish) colony, was at a late 
period in the history of the world ; * but. the perma- 
nent division of races had been formed centuries ante- 
rior to this event ; and the Negro race, as a race, had 
long before sprung into existence. 

2. If this were not the case, the probability is that 
the great desert would have prevented their being 
mingled with the mass of the aborigines who live 
south of the desert ; and it is almost certain that the 
interior of Africa was first reached by the way of 

3. History informs us that Carthage, a colony, 
grew up, by itself, in one locality ; flourished for a 
space, and then sank to decay ; while it does not in- 
form us that Carthage was the mother of nations, the 
founder of a race. 

Moreover, the fact should not be forgotten that 
the blood of the Canaanites was more mingled with 
that of Europeans than with Africans ; for they 
formed more colonies in Europe than in Africa, and 
their influence was stronger in Europe than in Afri- 
ca ; and they have left behind more numerous marks 
and monuments of their power in Europe than in 
Africa. Indeed, almost every vestige of their former 
might, in Africa, has been obliterated. 

* The foundation of Carthage, Utica, Septis, &c, took place, accord- 
ing to Heeren, between 1000 — 500 b. c. See " Heeren's Historical Re- 
searches," Vol. i. Ch. ii. 


"When the Israelites entered the promised land, 
they broke up the political establishment of the 
naanites, destroyed large numbers of them, and drove 
many of them out of the land. These latter went 
northward, and at first settled in the country called 
Phoenicia ; and from this they received the name 
Phoenicians. And here it was that the Canaanites 
gave evidence of being a wonderfully active, enter- 
prising, ingenious, and intellectual people — as much, 
if not more so, than any people of ancient times. 
They were a maritime nation, and their adventurous 
spirit led to the far regions of the Xortli, and south- 
ward around the Cape of Good Hope, which they 
doubled, traversing thence the countries bordering on 
the Indian Ocean. * They had commercial intercourse 
all through the Mediterranean Sea. Their ships and 
trade reached all along the coast of Europe, even be- 
yond the pillars of Hercules, to Britain and Ireland. 
In many of these places they planted colonies, on both 
sides of the Mediterranean ; carrying with them arts, 
letters, commerce, and civilization, to people yet rude 
and uncultivated. It appears to be an established 
fact that one of their colonies was planted on the 
coasts of both Spain and Ireland ; and thus some of 
the Celts of the present day may now have some of 
the blood of the Canaanites flowing through their 

" The establishment of a Canaanitish colony on 
the coast of Africa is no more evidence that the Afri- 

* Sec Ileeren's Historical Researches, Vol. i. Ch. iii. 
f See Ueeren's Historical Researches, Vol. i. Ch. ii. Also, Ezekiel 


can race proceeded from Canaan, than the similar fact 
in Ireland and Spain is evidence that Europeans had 
such an origin. 


Here it may be well to give a passing notice to 
the question, Who were the progenitors of the Negro 
race ? 

The writer of this paper does not pretend to speak 
with certainty upon this question. The following, he 
thinks, is a true statement of the matter. 

Africa was originally settled by the descendants 
of Ham, excepting his son Canaan. Ham himself is 
supposed to have emigrated to Egypt ; and Egypt, in 
Scripture, is called the " land of Ham." * There he 
attained to state and eminence ; and after his death, it 
is said, was deified by his descendants. The supreme 
deity Am of the Egyptians, it is stated, signifies his 
name : e. g., (H)am ; and the Jupiter Ammox, in honor 
of whom a temple was erected, is supposed to indi- 
cate Ham. 

Africa was peopled by Ham in the line of his three 
sons, Cush, Mizeatm, and Phut. 

1. Cush, the eldest, and undoubtedly the most 
distinguished of all the sons of Ham, appears to have 
been the great progenitor of the Negro race. His 
name is also associated, with distinction, with Asia. 
The records of these early periods of the world's his- 
tory are by no means clear and distinct ; but Cush 
appears to have gone, at first, into Arabia, between 
the Euphrates and the Tigris, the country sometimes 

* Ps. cvi. 22. 


called Chaldea, and in Scripture, Shiraz. Thence his 
descendants spread themselves abroad through the 
beautiful and luxuriant region of "Araby the blest," 
and eastward, by the Persian Gulf, to the Orient. 
Here, in the first place, Cush and his children distin- 
guished themselves. Here Nimrod, his son, became 
the first of kings, and reared up the mighty city of 
Babylon, and founded Nineveh. In the course of 
time some of the descendants of Cush crossed the 
Straits of Babelmandel, turned their steps southward 
toward the sources of the Xile, and settled in the 
land south of the Mountains of the Moon ; and from 
them the Kegro race has sprung, although the Cush- 
ites were, undoubtedly, greatly mingled in blood with 
the children' of Mizraim and Phut. 

2. Mizraim was the father of the Egyptians. 
Wherever, in our version, we find the name Egypt, 
in the original it is Mizraim. 

3. Of Phut, the third son of Ham, we have but 
little more than conjecture. It is the generally re- 
ceived opinion that his descendants settled on the 
northern Atlantic coast of Africa — Libya, and the ad- 
jacent parts, the country of the Moors. 


But there may be persons who will still object 
that the severities of the African slave trade, and the 
horrors of Xegro slavery, are peculiar and significant, 
indicate something special in their inflictions, outweigh 
all theory and argument, and give strength and au- 
thority to the opinion that the curse was pronounced 


upon Ham, and that the children of Africa have 
participated in its consequences. The reply to this 
is : 

1st. That the severities of the African slave trade, 
and the horrors of Negro slavery, as exhibited in Eu- 
ropean colonies and possessions, are entirely modem 
— confined to a short period in the history of the 
world, and therefore not a true exemplification of the 
general condition of the Negro race. 

2dly. That while it is true that servitude and 
slavery have existed in some form throughout Africa, 
in every stage of its history, it is also true that servi- 
tude and slavery have been the general condition of so- 
ciety, in cdl nations, in all countries, at cdl periods of 
time, and are not in any manner peculiar to the black 
man, or the Negro race. 

In connection with this fact I remark : 

3dly. That if the general existence of slavery in a 
race, or among a people, is to be taken as an indica- 
tion that a curse has descended upon them, then the 
mass of the Turks, Poles, Russians, Circassians, are 
lineal descendants of Canaan, and therefore " doomed 
races." And in the same category the larger portion 
of even Anglo-Saxons must be placed ; for, but a short 
time since, a multitude of Britons were absolutely 
" goods and chattels," under the name of " villeins." 


Those persons, surely, display great ignorance, 
who associate the system of slavery, specially and 
alone, with the Negro race, and who are not aware of 
its existence in other races, and in all periods of his- 


tory. There are no people, whether ancient or mod- 
ern, with whom slavery lias not been, at one period 
or other, a national institution. Indeed, how very 
little freedom has ever been enjoyed in this sin-ridden 
world of ours ! Among the various evils to which 
society has been subjected, none have been more gen- 
eral or more deadly than slavery. Xo portion of the 
globe has been exempt from this curse. Slavery 
existed among all the nations of antiquity of whom 
we have any knowledge. It was maintained among 
the Assyrians and Babylonians. That slavery existed 
among the Egyptians is evidenced by the testimony 
of the Bible. Joseph was sold by his brethren ; 
and sold again to an officer of Pharaoh's household. 
The Canaanites, after they were driven from the land 
of Canaan, and set up empire in Tyre and Sidon, 
trafficked in the bodies of men. The Greeks and Ro- 
mans held vast numbers of slaves; they were great 
traders in human flesh, and distinguished themselves 
beyond all other people as cruel slave-holders ; they 
kept their slaves in the deepest subjection, and visited 
upon them the most horrible cruelties, as is instanced 
in the condition of the Helots. 

In more recent times, we see the same prevalence 
of slavery among the nations. The whole western 
part of Europe, not long since, was in a state of abject 
vassalage. In Russia, twenty millions of serfs, even 
now, in wretchedness and poverty, suffer the infliction 
of the knout, and arc subject to irresponsible power 
and unrestrained tyranny. And if all the truth were 
known, it would, no doubt, be seen, that some of the 
convulsions which have recently occurred on the con- 


tinent, were, in fact, insurrections of slaves battling 
for personal freedom. 

The same state of things has existed even in Eng- 
land. A few centuries since, Saxons were bought and 
sold in Ireland and Home. At one time slaves and 
cattle were a kind of currency in the land ; and down 
to the period of the Reformation, human beings were 
" marketable commodities." 

In the light of these facts, how ignorant and idle 
is it to regard the children of Africa as the subjects 
of a peculiar curse, because, in the mysterious provi- 
dence of God, they have participated in the miseries 
and the sufferings of a cruel system, which has existed 
from the dawn of history, in every quarter of the globe, 
among every people under the sun.* 


It was the discovery of America, and the develop- 
ment of the treasures of the Xew World, which led to 
all the accumulated horrors of the slave trade, and the 
dreadful barbarities of Xesro slavery, in Christian 
lands. The system took its rise in the sixteenth century. 
Since then the shameful fact has been witnessed, by 
earth and by heaven, of men, civilized men, men born 
and reared in Christian lands and under Christian in- 
fluences, teariug their fellow-creatures from home, 
and friends, and country ; carrying them across the 

* With reference to the general prevalence of the system of slavery, 
see a very able article in the " Life and Remains of Rev. B. B. Edwards, 
D. D.," late of Andover Theological Seminary. 


wide ocean ; trading in the flesh and blood of human 
beings ! The system of slavery, as thus marked and 
distinguished, is a modern affair — was unknown an- 
terior to the discovery of America ; and therefore, as 
such, not a fact of history — not the general, universal 
state of the Negro race. 


But it should be remembered that this event did 
not bring distress and slavery upon the Negro race 
only ; it struck at once, with deadly, blasting influ- 
ence, upon two races of men, — the Indian as well as 
the Negro ; and if, because of its destructive and en- 
slaving influence, we are to infer a people's descent 
from Canaan, then the American Indian is of his seed, 
as well as the Negro. So soon as the European plant- 
ed his foot upon the western continent, he seized upon 
the aborigine as his instrument and property. Before 
there was any thought of stealing the African and 
making him a slave, the Indian was enslaved and 
overworked ; until, at last, he sank down, spent and 
overwearied, into the grave. And then, when the 
Indian was exterminated, the Negro was torn from his 
native land, brought across the water, and made to 
supply the red man's place. It is difficult to tell 
which has suffered the more from the discovery, and 
the slavery which has grown out of it — the Indian or 
the African. " In the West Indies," to use the words 
of another, " the whole native population became 
speedily extinct ; the ten millions of that almost un- 
earthly race, the gentle Caribs, vanished like a morn- 


ing mist before their oppressors. They bled in war ; 
they wasted away in the mines ; they toiled to death 
in the sngar mills." * And then, when their spirits 
had fled from earthly thraldom, the " conquerors of 
the New World" turned toward the vast African 
continent for new victims to fill up the places they 
had made vacant by their murderous treatment of 
the natives. 


A consideration of this subject would be altogether 
incomplete, without an attempt to account for the ori- 
gin of this perversion of the word of God, that is, that 
the Negro race is under a curse, and devoted to sla- 
very. The writer of this article is fully aware of the 
responsibility he assumes in making the assertions 
which follow ; but it is his deliberate conviction that 
this perversion of Scripture originated, 

1st. In the unscriptural dogma, still maintained 
by Christian men, and even ministers, that slavery is 
consistent with, nay, authorized by, the word and 
will of God, and that it existed among the Jews un- 
der the divine sanction.f 

* Rev. J. S. Stone, D. D. 

" Las Casas and Vieyra might be quoted to show the cruelties which 
stimulated them in their unwearied efforts to save the original inhabit- 
ants from servitude. The Indians vanished from the scene, giving way 
to a more enduring race, who were thenceforward to monopolize the 
miseries of slavery." — "Friends in Council," p. 121. 

f The mind of God upon this subject, so far as the Old Testament is 
concerned, is thus expressed in Exodus xxi. 16 : "He that stealeth a 
man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be 
put to death." Can any thing be more explicit ? 

So far a3 the New Testament is concerned, one distinct, unambiguous, 


2d. In the natural disposition of our corrupt na- 
ture to justify a committed wrong, and, if possible, to 
claim the authority of God's word for it ; and this is 
the peculiarity which characterizes this great and 
deep-seated error. It had its origin in the rise and 
influence of the system of slavery ; and this system 
has appropriated for itself no stronger support than 
this, and those other staple arguments, wrenched from 
the Scripture to vindicate and sustain the whole fabric 
of Xegro slavery. 

Christianity, in the abstract, is a pure and perfect 
gift from God to man. But Christianity is a deposit 
from heaven, in the hands of sinful men ; and conse- 
quently, in all its ages, Christianity has suffered the 
loss which is the natural result of being entrusted to 
this agency, and of being transmitted through this 
medium. History proves this ; for no one need be 
told that Christianity, in every age, has partaken of 
the prevailing spirit of that age, whatever it might be. 
In a philosophical age, it has been influenced by the 
philosophical spirit and dogmas of that age. In the 
middle ages, Christianity was influenced by scholasti- 
cism. In the age of wars and crusades, she produced 
Peter the Hermit, and her prelates led forth mighty 
armies to battle. In an age of luxury, its rigid tone 
has been relaxed by the enervating influence of wealth, 
and ease, and refinement. That Christianity has suf- 
fered in a like manner, in a slave-trading and a slave- 

and positive utterance would seem to be sufficient. St. Paul furnishes 
us with such an one in 1 Timothy i. '.\ 10 : " Knowing this, that the law 

is not made for a righteous man, but for mi:nsti:alers" — 

avopa-n-ooiffait. See u Conybearc and Ilowaon" upoii this verse. 


holding age, no one need wonder who looks at the wide 
and withering influence which the slave trade and sla- 
very have exerted, in all the countries of Christendom, 
during the last three hundred years. During this 
period, nearly all the literature of the chief European 
nations was a ISTegro-hating and a pro-slavery litera- 
ture. The institution of slavery, wielding a most po- 
tent and commanding authority, brought every thing, 
in politics, science, philosophy, and letters, to bear in 
support of the slave trade, in maintenance of the in- 
stitution of slavery, and to uphold the dogma that the 
2se£ro was but an inferior animal. The aid of science 
was invoked ; philosophy trimmed her lamps ; litera- 
ture poured forth whatever treasures she could possi- 
bly command. ' The period has but recently passed 
since distinguished men in England and France exer- 
cised the keenest wit and the subtlest genius to prove 
that the !Negro differed physically from the rest of the 
human species, and had a distinct organization. The 
puzzling questions concerning the cuticle, the coloring 
membrane, the " woolly " hair, the facial angle, the 
pelvis, and all the other supposed characteristic dif- 
ferences of the Xegro race, have only recently been 
settled in a sensible, reasonable manner. In such a 
state of public sentiment in the Christian world, what 
wonder that the Church herself should have become 
tainted and infected by the deadly touch of slavery ? 
And she did not escape ; she, too, fell into the com- 
mon sentiment of the age ; she has not yet entirely 
unschooled herself from it ; * and hence it was that, 

* See, as a most lamentable instance, a recent scriptural defence of 
Negro slavery, by the venerable Kt. Rev. Bishop Hopkins, of Vermont. 


to a very considerable extent, for nigli three centuries, 
the black man has had a pro-slavery theology pr 
ing him to the earth, as well as the all-grasping cu- 
pidity of man : 

" Trade, -wealth, and fashion asked him still to bleed, 
And holy men gave Scripture for the deed." 

To this prevailing sentiment we owe the fact that 
nearly all interpretations of Scripture, commentaries, 
works on prophecy, dissertations on Jewish servitude, 
sermons and theological treatises elicited by the anti- 
slavery struggle in England and America, nearly all 
are pervaded by a pro-slavery tone. 

In legal matters it is an assumed principle " that 
in doubtful cases the advantage of the law shall be in 
favor of the prisoner ; " but Christian men have re- 
versed this principle, and in their treatises have as- 
sumed, as a foregone conclusion, that the spirit of the 
Bible was in favor of slavery, and not for freedom, 
and hence ingenuity has been exhausted in order to 
show the exact similitude between Jewish servitude 
and Xegro slavery ; and to prove that when Xoah 
cursed Canaan he was looking right down the track 
of time upon some fine specimens of " Ebony," in the 
barracoons of the Gallinas, or some " fat and sleek " 
Negroes in the slave-shambles of Virginia ! 


In conclusion, the author submits that the preced- 
ing examination authorizes the following conclusions : 

1. That the curse of JSoah was pronounced upon 
Canaan, not upon Ham. 


2. That it fell upon Canaan, and was designed to 
fall upon him only. 

3. That neither Ham, nor any of his three sons, 
was involved in this cnrse. 

4. That the Negro race have not descended from 
Canaan ; were never involved in the curse pronounced 
upon him ; and their peculiar sufferings, dining the 
last three centuries, are not the results or evidences 
of any specific curse upon them. 

5. That the fact of slavery in the Negro race is not 
peculiar to them as a people ; but a general evil exist- 
ing in the whole human family ; in which, in God's 
providence, the Negro family have latterly been called 
to suffer greatly, and doubtless for some high and 
important ends. 

6. That the geographical designations of Scripture 
are to be taken in good faith ; and that when the 
" land of Canaan " is mentioned in the Bible, it was 
not intended to include the Gold Coast, the Gaboon, 
Goree, or Congo. 

This examination furnishes us with suggestions 
upon a few collateral subjects which have been more 
or less associated with, or deduced from, the false in- 
terpretation thus noticed : 

1. "We see that whatever* may be the significance 
of Gen. ix. 25, it does not imply mental degradation 
and intellectual inaptitude. The curse of Noah did 
not rob Canaan and his descendants of their brains. 
The history of the Phoenicians gives evidence of as 
great creative faculty, and of as much mental force" 
and energy, as that of any other people in the world. 


It would seem that they, of all the ancient world, 
were only second to the Romans in that commanding 
national influence which begets life in distant quar- 
ters, starts enterprise in new regions, and reproduces 
its own force and energy among other peoples. Of 
course, it follows legitimately from the above, that the 
whole Hamitic family are under no Divine doom to 
perpetual ignorance or endless moral benightedness. 

2. The history of the Canaanites serves to show 
that the "principle of chattelism " is not the correla- 
tive of the curse of Canaan ; this was neither their 
doom nor their destiny. Neither in sacred nor pro- 
fane history do we find them bought and sold like 
cattle. Driven out of Canaan, they themselves 
traded in " the bodies and souls " of men, but not so 
others with them.- The nearest approach to any 
thing of this character is the condition of the Gibeon- 
ites, who deceived Joshua ; but their condition was 
that of servants.^ Although subjugated and hum- 
bled, yet their personal and family rights were pre- 
served intact, and none of the aggravations of slavery 
were permitted to reach themselves or their children. 
"When set upon, at times, by lawless and ruthless 
men, both Divine and human power interposed for 
their protection and preservation. 

3. This examination nullifies the foolish notion 
that the curse of Canaan carried with it the sable dye 
which marks the Negro races of the icorld. The de- 

* Sec Ezekiel xxvii. 

f See Joshua ix. 21. 2 Samuel xxi. 3, 4, 5, 6. 


scendants of Canaan in Palestine, Phoenicia, Carthage,, 
and in their various colonies, were not black. They 
were not Negroes, either in lineage or color. 

Note. — The article "Hope for Africa," has been inserted in the 
place of the "Eulogium on Clarkson," as being more pertinent to the 
object of this work. 




Preservation treatment 

for this book was 

made possible through the 

Mary Eddy Klein '42 and 

Margaret Kennedy Klein '72 

Library Preservation Fund 

for Special Collections 


jjb.=i.^ l =) l =J l =Ji=ii=i i=3ED